Information on Ignition Interlock Devices in the Grand Canyon State
Phoenix, Scottsdale, Tucson, Sedona, Mesa, Flagstaff, Tempe – all cities and towns in the state of Arizona have the same DUI and Ignition Interlock laws when it comes to a drinking and driving arrest charge. In AZ, those drivers discovered to be operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher are taken into custody and charged with a Driving Under the Influence (DUI) criminal offense. Research performed by the government has proven that having a BAC of 0.05 percent is enough to impair most individuals’ ability to drive and a BAC of 0.08 percent is enough to impair every individual’s ability to drive.
2 of the first common questions most drivers will have after Arizona DUI arrests are, “is my driver’s license going to be suspended, and do I have to get an Ignition Interlock device installed in order to legally drive my car in Arizona?” For individuals who are charged and then convicted of even a first AZ offense DUI charge, they will face a number of different costs and penalties as punishment, and the state of Arizona uses these consequences as a means to discourage people from drinking and driving. The laws for mandatory penalties used in the state of Arizona and many other states include jail time, monetary fines, a license suspension period, and requiring to pay for the cost and fees to install, maintain, and use an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) in order to operate a vehicle legally. It is essential for every driver in this situation to be aware of, that the only way how to avoid or prevent the requirement and cost of having to get an Ignition Interlock in AZ, is to get the immediate help necessary to avoid a conviction of the charges.
What is Extreme DUI in the State of Arizona?
The state of Arizona has created a specific distinction of DUI offenses called “Extreme DUI.” Offenders can be charged with Extreme DUI should their BAC be at or above 0.15 percent within a two-hour period of controlling of or driving a vehicle. Individuals tried and convicted of Extreme DUI are also convicted of a criminal misdemeanor. First time offenders of Extreme DUI face a $900 fine plus $250 for a “DUI Assessment” and $1,250 for an Extreme DUI assessment, a one-year license suspension, and having to get an Ignition Interlock or Car Breathalyzer – a term it is also known by.
What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Arizona?
As mentioned, there are a number of different laws the state of Arizona uses to punish those convicted of DUI, and these penalties increase in severity with the number of previous offenses individuals have – a repeat drinking and driving offense within the last seven years is considered an additional offense. First time offenders spend a minimum of 24 hours in jail and up to 10 days, have to pay a base monetary fine of $250, have their license suspended for 90 to 360 days. They are also required to install an Ignition Interlock machine on any car the person drives, which includes and company car or vehicle used for work purposes.
Second time offenders in the state of Arizona or those who had their first DUI offense within the last seven years face a minimum jail sentence of 30 days that can be extended up to 90 days, have to pay a $500 base fine, have their license suspended for a period of one year, and also have to use an IID. Finally, third time DUI offenders in this state serve a minimum jail sentence of four months, pay a $750 base fine, have their driver’s license suspended for one full year, and are also required to use an interlock.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device and How Does It Work?
For those who are unaware, an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) or “Car Breathalyzer,” works similarly to a regular breath test device used by police officers and other Arizona law enforcement officials to determine an individual’s BAC. When a driver is required to use a DUI interlock, this device is installed on the dashboard or another area of their vehicle – they are then required to blow into this device every time they wish to start the vehicle to make it operational.
When a driver blows into the Ignition Interlock, the device uses a fuel cell in order to determine their BAC level. Should blood alcohol content read above the pre-programmed threshold, the device prevents the individual from starting the vehicle. Additionally, this information is collected during routine scans of the device’s records and is reported to the individual’s probation officer, the court, and any other relevant agencies.
When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Authorized in the State of Arizona?
The state of Arizona passed legislation regarding the requirement of IIDs in 2007. The court system in this state requires the use of an Ignition Interlock for a DUI offense under the following conditions:
- Drivers convicted of their first or second DUI offense or Extreme DUI offense are ordered to use an Ignition Interlock for 12 months.
- Drivers convicted of their first Extreme DUI offense who registered a BAC of 0.20 percent or more are ordered to use an IID for 18 months.
- Drivers convicted of their second Extreme DUI offense who registered a BAC of 0.20 percent or more are ordered to use an interlock for 24 months.
- Drivers convicted of their second Extreme DUI offense who have aggravating circumstances involved in their case are ordered to install the Ignition Interlock device on any vehicle they drive for 24 months.
The Arizona court system can also order DUI offenders to use an interlock device machine for more than 12 or 24 months depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. These requirements for using an IID begin on the date that the Department of Transportation and Motor Vehicle Division receives a report of conviction for the individual or on the date in which the individual’s license is reinstated (whichever occurs later). Additionally, some drivers may qualify for a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver License (SIIRDL) – those drivers with both an IID and SIIRDL are able to drive to work, alcohol programs, meetings with their probation officer, and Ignition Interlock maintenance appointments.
In AZ, Who is Responsible for Paying for the Cost an Ignition Interlock Device?
In most cases, a person convicted for a DUI offense charge is responsible for the cost of installing, maintaining, servicing, and removing the Ignition Interlock device from their vehicle. The average DUI offender who is ordered to use an interlock in the state of Arizona should expect to pay close to $130 for the device’s installation as well as between $75 and $120 per month in order to lease the device. It is important to keep in mind that these figures are merely estimates, and some drivers will pay more or less for their requirement of using an Ignition Interlock device.
What is the Process of Getting an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Arizona?
When an Arizona judge orders a DUI driver to get an Ignition Interlock installed on their car so they can be allowed to legally drive, they are then required to obtain and have the device installed by an approved IID provider. The state of Arizona has a list of approved interlock providers, which can be found on the state of Arizona Department of Correction’s website. A person that is convicted of a DUI arrest charge will likely be given a deadline date as to how long they have until the Ignition Interlock device machine needs to be installed by. After the interlock Breathalyzer is installed, the driver will need to provide the court with their car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) as well as proof that the Ignition Interlock has been installed by a state approved AZ IID provider.