Arizona is known for having some of the strictest drinking and driving laws in the country. Arizona was on the forefront of ignition interlock laws, mandating drivers use the devices for one year after their first DUI offense. In 2011, Arizona lawmakers changed the state's ignition interlock laws, and Arizona drivers should know ignition interlock works, the requirements for ignition interlock and the recent changes in the ignition interlock laws.
How Interlock Works
An ignition interlock device operates like an in-car breathalyzer test. The driver must supply a breath sample by blowing into a tube. If the device registers any alcohol in the sample, the interlock device will not allow the electronic ignition system to start the car.
Periodically during the trip, the driver must supply more breath samples. If the device detects alcohol, the machine notes the sample and warns the driver that an alert will begin, such as the car's lights flashing, which will persist until the driver stops the car or supplies a clean breath sample.
The device needs to be calibrated and inspected for tampering by a certified ignition interlock servicer once every 30 days for the first three months that the device is in the car. After that, the servicer determines how frequently to inspect the device.
Installation of the device can cost between $50 and $200. Monthly services fees range from $50 to $100. The driver is responsible for the costs of the device.
Those who have had their driver's licenses suspended or revoked due to a DUI conviction may be eligible for a restricted driver's license if they have an ignition interlock device installed by an MVD authorized company on any vehicle they will drive. Additionally, the driver must:
- Have no other pending suspensions or revocations
- Pay all fees
- Provide proof of SR-22 insurance
- Complete alcohol treatment programs, if ordered to do so by the court
The driver is limited in the places he or she may go when driving with a restricted license, such as to and from work or school, to and from a health care provider, to and from a treatment facility and to and from an ignition interlock servicer.
Changes to Arizona's Law
On January 1, 2012, Arizona's ignition interlock laws changed. Those arrested for DUI will only be required to have the ignition interlock device for six months, rather than the one year the law previously required.
Despite the shortened time that Arizona drivers must use an ignition interlock after a DUI conviction, Arizona authorities take DUI offenses very seriously and will not hesitate to prosecute DUI charges to the fullest extent possible. If you are facing DUI charges, contact an experienced DUI defense lawyer today.