We have more than once written about the efforts of politicians to toughen Colorado DUI laws. Politicians are busy crafting ever-harsher penalties elsewhere, too. One example is Florida, where lawmakers are considering a law that would require repeat DUI offenders to submit to two breath tests per day.
In addition, the law would allow authorities to order random urinalysis, ignition interlocks and devices that do continuous monitoring, such as ankle bracelets.
Florida law currently mandates that a driver convicted more than once of DUI to have their vehicle outfitted with an ignition interlock device that requires a driver to test their breath before the car can be started and driven. The new proposal goes far beyond that, however, by requiring abstinence of repeat offenders 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Another proposal hotly debated in Florida is one pushed by companies that sell the ignition interlock devices. The companies and their supporters want first-time DUI offenders to be required to install the devices on their vehicles (a law that would increase demand for the $10 million per year business in Florida).
The executive director of the state’s Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Department opposes the proposal to make first-time offenders install interlocks, saying that studies show most first-time DUI violators don’t require monitoring to avoid future legal problems.
Are the debates roiling Florida a glimpse into Colorado’s future? No one knows. But we do know that changes to DUI law here are likely and that those facing drunken driving or drugged driving charges should be aware of the possible penalties they face if convicted. A conversation with a criminal defense attorney can help make your legal options clear.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, “Drunken drivers in Florida may face daily breath tests,” Dara Kam, April 17, 2014