2017 House Bill 949 entitled, “Driving Under the Influence,” was introduced by Florida State Representative Cord Byrd (R –Neptune Beach) and it passed the House Committee on March 22, 2017.
The 2017 House Bill 949 encourages first-time offenders, as a condition of probation, to voluntarily place an ignition interlock device (IID) on his or her vehicle for the first six (6) months of probation. If the person completes the terms of the IID placement successfully, then he or she may be able to have adjudication withheld on the DUI offense.
Fla. Stat. §316.193 Driving Under the Influence
Under Florida Statute § 316.193, a person may be found guilty of driving under the influence if the person is in physical control of a vehicle and has a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 or more.
If a person is caught with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) higher than 0.15 percent or the offender’s BAC is under 0.15, but there is a minor in the vehicle, then under current law, a first-time offender must drive with an ignition interlock system for six (6) months.
The 2017 HB 949 will only apply to first-time offenders. The charge for a first offense DUI is a first-degree misdemeanor. For a DUI charged as a first-degree misdemeanor, the penalty is up to six (6) months in jail and up to $1,000 fines.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device (IID) is a device that prevents a vehicle from starting if the driver has been drinking over a certain amount. An IID looks and acts a lot like a breathalyzer. To operate it, you blow into it in the same manner as a normal breath test. If the amount of alcohol in a driver’s system is above a pre-programmed limit –likely 0.08—then the interlock system temporarily prevents the vehicle from starting.
According to the Florida DMV, a typical scenario with an IID goes as follows:
- you breathe into the IID to start the car;
- you wait about five minutes until the device beeps, and then you breathe into it again, and
- you breathe into this device approximately every 30 minutes.
The IID records the information each time you breathe into the device, and that information is transmitted to the Florida DMV.
What Will 2017 CS/HB 949 Affect?
The 2017 House Bill, if passed, will most certainly change the way DUI offenses are handled in Florida courts. Florida law does not allow DUI offenses to have adjudication withheld. An adjudication withhold is a sentence in which a judge orders probation but does not formally convict the offender.
If DUI offenses can now have adjudication withheld, then for some people who have no prior withholds, no prior convictions, and who have never sealed or expunged a criminal record, then he or she may be eligible to have their first offense DUI adjudicated withheld and eventually sealed.
CS/HB 949 –Visit the official website of the Florida Senate to find the history of CS/HB 949 including voting information, when the bill was introduced and where it is in the legislative process. The Florida legislature also has a bill analysis with the fiscal effects of HB 949.
Find an Attorney for DUI Offenses in Brooksville, Florida
Having a DUI offense on your record in Florida follows you for the rest of your life if you are convicted. If you have been charged with a DUI offense, talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately to discuss your next steps.
Ashley Aulls will explain your case face-to-face and fight for your best result. We take cases at
Call (352) 593-4115 for more information about CS/HB 949.
This Article Was Last Updated on Monday, March 27, 2017.