Orlando Law Firm Discusses Controversy in Tallahassee Concerning New DUI Bills

The Umansky Law Firm, a central Florida firm dealing with DUI and other criminal matters, talks about the proposal of more intense use of Ignition Interlock Devices.

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Headshot of Michael Barber

Attorney Michael Barber

Simply saying that there is a chance someone who has been convicted of driving on a suspended license will also be arrested for driving under the influence should not be enough to impose the burdensome requirement of having an ignition interlock device...

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) March 28, 2014

There is a swirling controversy in Tallahassee right now. According to a March 18th, 2014 article from The Palm Beach Post, new DUI bills have been stifled, which means more DUI offenders are on the streets because there is criticism from certain vendors who want law enforcement to use more of their product. Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Julie Jones believes that Florida has an exemplary DUI program and wants to continue making positive improvements to the existing DUI laws.

The vendors claim that Florida should be using more ignition interlock devices, or IIDs, to reduce DUIs. They have been used for 25 years, and have improved over that amount of time the same way most other technology has. State law requires an IID to be placed on vehicles of first-time offenders of DUIs with a BAC of .15 or over, and on second and third time offenders, according to the DMV of Florida. A judge can order an IID at his discretion.

The state of Florida first began mandating the use of the IID 10 years ago. Since then, vendors have collected over $100 million, and statistics show that there are over 10,000 IIDs in use in Florida right now, according to the same Palm Beach Post article. These units are supplied by the same vendors that are creating the controversy in the Florida Senate discussion claiming that there needs to be more serious arrests to get DUI offenders off the street. Julie Jones believes that the state should be working on improving the program at hand.

Another issue is that the recent contract for the present vendors expires on March 31st. According to an article from CBS Local of Miami on March 18th, 2014, Administrative Law Judge Robert E. Meale wrote in a 98-page order that concerned the issuing of contracts to different companies after it was determined that the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles selected the past vendors with very little discretion. On April 1st, Executive Jones’s department will present the top three contracts to Smart Start, ACS and Guardian Interlock.

Jerry Stanton, owner of Lifesaver and Guardian, suggests that more IIDs should be used. The statistics show that 17,000 people were arrested for driving without a valid license or driving without valid insurance, and then arrested later for DUI offenses. Stanton wants IIDs Installed in the vehicles of these offenders as well In order to get more drunk drivers off the streets. Both federal agents and MADD support him.

The Umansky Law Firm, a personal injury and criminal defense law firm located in Orlando, Florida, extensively handles DUI cases in the central Florida region. Michael Barber, an attorney with the Umansky Law Firm experienced with current and proposed DUI laws, was outspoken about his stance on IIDs.

“I do not agree with imposing the ignition interlock devices on people convicted of minor traffic crimes, such as driving on a suspended license,” Attorney Barber said. “It is tantamount to punishing someone for a crime that has not been committed yet. The ignition interlock devices should be reserved for people who have been convicted of a DUI, and shown to be at risk for reoffending. Simply saying that there is a chance someone who has been convicted of driving on a suspended license will also be arrested for driving under the influence should not be enough to impose the burdensome requirement of having an ignition interlock device installed.”

Jones wants to offer solutions to the DUI problem, not promote the use of more devices. She states that 75% of those who are arrested on their first DUI never reoffend. She also wants to educate the DUI programs, which adhere to abstinence, and include defining when and where one may adequately imbibe.

Jones also supports the researching new devices that can detect other substances besides alcohol, which is now a major problem.


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