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DUI convictions may carry heavier penalties in the future

The Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee of the Florida House of Representatives has approved a bill that would require people convicted of a first time drunk driving offense to have an ignition interlock device installed in their automobile. Ignition interlock devices prevent a vehicle from starting until the driver has breathed into the device and the device has determined that the person's blood-alcohol concentration is under the legal limit.

Currently, people who are convicted of a first time DUI and had a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater or had a minor in the vehicle while driving intoxicated are required to have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle for six months. The new law would make it mandatory for all DUI convictions. The bill must go through two more committees before it reaches the House floor.

Even if people face charges of driving while under the influence, they should be aware that they may still have the charges dropped against them or be found not guilty if they were not under the influence or if law enforcement acted improperly. There are a number of tests that they may be required to undergo if they are pulled over, but tests are not always accurate, and they are not always administered properly.

Additionally, if police officers do not obtain or store evidence in a manner that is outlined by the law, it may be considered inadmissible. Since people who are found guilty of drunk driving charges may face significant penalties if a conviction is obtained, those who have been charged may want to meet with an attorney as soon as possible in order to start building a defense strategy.

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