Sometimes, the state of Florida is better known for its headlines than its beaches and amusement parks. “A Florida man arrested for DUI…” is a common phrase heard on the news or read on the Internet, sparking interest in the unique ways some people find to drive drunk in the Sunshine state. These headlines may reference bicycles, beer helmets and/or rooftop diving, but, unlike Justin Bieber’s recent DUI plea bargain, many rumors about Florida and drunk driving are untrue, especially when it comes to ignition interlock devices (IIDs).
- Ignition interlock devices in Florida can cause accidents during retests. No, actually, the retest signal gives a driver enough time to pull over and avoid any dangerous or distracted driving situation. Bad drivers in Florida cause most of the accidents.
- Florida ignition interlock devices aren’t reliable. The devices in Florida and every other state must be approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the same people who make us buckle our seat belts, use car seats for children and stop texting while we drive. We’re pretty sure they know what they’re doing.
- It is unconstitutional to require an ignition interlock device in Florida. Since driving is not a constitutional right, but, an earned privilege, there is nothing to this rumor. Instead of losing your ability to drive, an IID keeps you behind the wheel of your car and possibly out of jail.
From celebrity DUI mug shots in Miami Beach to the costumed characters at a bar in Orlando, the last myth or rumor to believe is that a Florida ignition interlock device doesn’t keep drunk drivers off the road. In fact, an ignition interlock device could be very effective in changing the reputation of that “Florida man,” today, tomorrow, and for years to come, just by keeping him sober behind the wheel.