If you are arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, you are looking at the possibility of fines, license suspension and even jail time.

License suspension may be your immediate concern. How are you going to get to work and back? The solution may be a court-ordered ignition interlock device.

What it is

The ignition interlock device is roughly the size of a mobile phone. In basic terms, it is a computer with a breathalyzer. When you breathe into the mouthpiece, the machine measures and records the blood alcohol content in your body. If your BAC level falls below the set point, your vehicle will start, but even as you drive, the device will require further testing at random intervals.

How you get one

In the state of Florida, the court could order you to have an IID on your first conviction for DUI, depending on the circumstances surrounding your arrest. If, as a first offender, your BAC level registers 0.15 percent or above, you will be required to have the device for at least six months. For a second conviction, the term will be at least a year, two years if your BAC is 0.15 or higher, or if you have a minor in the car when you are arrested.

Operational considerations

If you do not provide a random breath sample while driving, the device will cause your horn to honk until you shut your vehicle off. Furthermore, do not try to fool the device in any way in order to get your car to start. Your IID has built-in anti-circumvention capabilities.

What is in store

An experienced criminal defense attorney will tell you that if you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, you will be faced with both criminal and administrative penalties, including the possibility that you will be ordered to have an IID installed in your vehicle at your own expense. It is a good idea for you to make friends with your IID. After all, it will ensure your ability to get to work and back as a safe, sober driver.