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Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device Questions After a DUI in Phoenix

May 16

Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device Questions After a DUI in Phoenix

When people are convicted of an Arizona DUI involving alcohol in Arizona, one of the penalties that they will face is the mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device breathalyzer in every vehicle that they drive. How long people will be required to have these breathalyzer devices installed in their vehicles will depend on the degree of DUI, if it is a misdemeanor or felony, on the number of past DUI convictions you have on your record within the past seven years and your blood alcohol concentration at the time of your arrest. Below are the Top 10 ignition interlock device frequently asked questions that we receive at the Shah Law Firm about ignition interlock devices.

1. What is the cost of an ignition interlock device?

Ignition interlock devices must be installed at the expense of those who are ordered to do so as part of their DUI punishments. Installation, monthly leasing payments, monthly servicing fees, and removal costs are all included in the costs. An installation charge of up to $150 per vehicle is typical, with monthly payments ranging from $70 to $100. An ignition interlock device is not something you buy. Instead, these devices are rented for the length of time that you must have them installed.

2. How Long Do I Have to Have an Interlock Device Installed?

How long you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle depends on the number of convictions you have had in the last seven years and your BAC at the time of your arrest. If you are convicted of driving under the influence as a first DUI offense with a BAC of 0.08%, you will have to have the device installed for 12 months. If your conviction was for an extreme DUI with a BAC ranging from 0.15 to 0.199% as a first offense, you will still be required to have the device installed in your vehicle for 12 months. If you are convicted of a super extreme DUI with a BAC of 0.20% or higher as a first offense, you will be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for 18 months.

3. What if I Fail an Interlock Breath Test?

When you first get into your vehicle, you will have to blow into the tube before your vehicle will start. Ignition interlock devices do not allow vehicles to be turned on when a person has a BAC of 0.02% or higher. If you fail an interlock test, an alert will be sent to the ignition interlock device provider. The provider will then report the failed test to the Arizona Department of Transportation MVD, which can extend the length of time that you will be required to have the device installed in your vehicle by a minimum of six months, and in some cases even potentially restart the mandatory length of time.

4. What if the Device Malfunctions and Gives a False Reading?

Ignition interlock devices work similarly to the portable breath tests police use during traffic stops in how they measure the percentage of alcohol on your breath. However, portable breath tests and ignition interlock devices can both return false positives because of several different factors. In the majority of cases, a false positive on an ignition interlock device will happen because of a substance in your mouth when you give a breath sample. Ignition interlock devices are calibrated to detect even the smallest amounts of alcohol samples in your exhaled breath. If you have trace amounts of alcohol or another substance that can give a false reading, you could end up with a false-positive result on the test.

5. What if I Want to Purchase a New Vehicle?

If you buy a new vehicle, you will have 72 hours to reinstall your ignition interlock device in your new vehicle after it is removed from your old vehicle. Once it is removed from your former vehicle, do not drive until it is installed in your new car. It is against the law in Arizona to drive your new vehicle without having an ignition interlock device installed in it. This means that you should not test drive a new vehicle since it will not have an ignition interlock device installed. You might take a friend with you to the car lot to test drive the vehicle for you while you ride as a passenger. Contact your provider to ask about how to swap the device from your old car to your new one.

6. Is it Legal for Me to Drive a Company Car Without an Ignition Interlock Device?

Many people drive company vehicles as part of their work to transport cargo, passengers, deliver packages, and do other responsibilities. If you have to drive a corporate car as part of your job, you may be wondering if you may do so without an ignition interlock device installed. If you are charged with DUI while driving a commercial vehicle, this can be quite detrimental. Employer exemptions used to exist in Arizona, allowing employees to drive business vehicles while on the job if their employers consented in writing. The exception was eventually revoked by the legislature in 2013. This means that driving a corporate vehicle without an ignition interlock device is prohibited. Instead, any vehicle without an ignition interlock device is prohibited from being driven.

7. What if I am an Independent Driver for a Company Such as Uber or Lyft?

If you are convicted of a DUI and work as a ride-share driver, you can expect to lose your ability to drive for the company. Both Uber and Lyft perform background checks on their drivers. If you have a DUI conviction within the past seven years, you will not pass the background check. If you already are an Uber or Lyft driver, the companies run annual checks on their drivers. You will lose your privileges to use the app when they discover your DUI. Even if you are between annual background checks, however, you must have an ignition interlock device installed in any vehicle you drive, including any vehicle you might use for Uber or Lyft.

8. What if it Is an Absolute Emergency, but I Consumed Alcohol?

You cannot drive a vehicle in Arizona when you are under the influence of alcohol. You also cannot borrow a vehicle from someone else that does not have an ignition interlock device installed. Under ARS 28-1464, people can only borrow vehicles from others that do not have ignition interlock devices installed when there is a substantial emergency. However, doing so when you have been drinking is never okay. Instead, take a taxi or ride-share if you have an emergency and have been drinking alcohol.

9. What Would Happen If I Took Marijuana?

The marijuana on your breath is not detected by ignition interlock devices. However, if you are even slightly impaired by marijuana, you should not drive. If you do, the levels of THC in your bloodstream could lead to a new Marijuana DUI accusation.

10. How Can I Avoid Having to Install an Ignition Interlock Device?

Any DUI conviction in Arizona will result in an order to install an ignition interlock device in every vehicle that you drive. The only way to avoid having to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is to have an aggressive DUI attorney work to get your charges reduced or even your DUI dismissed completely.

For more information about laws governing the use of Ignition Interlock Devices visit the Shah Law Firm website at https://arjashahlaw.com or one of the resources below.

https://sites.google.com/view/arijashahlaw/drug-defense