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Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs after A Phoenix DUI

May 16

Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs after A Phoenix DUI

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 must I have an interlock device in place?

The amount of convictions you've had in the last seven years, as well as your BAC at the time of your arrest, will determine how long you'll be needed to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. You must have the device placed for 12 months if you are convicted of driving under the influence for the first time with a BAC of 0.08 percent. If you were convicted of a first-time extreme DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.15 to 0.199 percent, you will still be obliged to have the device installed in your car for 12 months. If you are convicted of a first-time extremely extreme DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.20 percent or above, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in your car 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. Can I Drive a Company Car Without an Ignition Interlock Device?

Many people drive company vehicles as a part of their jobs to haul goods, transport passengers, make deliveries, or do other tasks. If you are required to drive a company vehicle as a part of your job, you might wonder whether you can drive it without an ignition interlock device installed in it. This can also be potentially damaging if you are charged DUI with a CDL or commercial driver’s license. Arizona used to have an employer exemption that allowed people to drive company vehicles while working on the job if their employers agreed in writing. However, the exemption was repealed by the legislature in 2013. This means that you cannot drive a company vehicle without an ignition interlock device. Instead, you cannot drive any vehicle that does not have an ignition interlock device installed in it.

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's a true emergency, but I've had too much to drink?

In Arizona, it is illegal to drive while under the influence of alcohol. You also can't borrow a vehicle without an ignition interlock device fitted. People can only borrow vehicles from persons that do not have ignition interlock devices installed when there is a significant emergency, according to ARS 28-1464. However, doing so after drinking is never a good idea. If you have an emergency and have consumed alcohol, instead take a taxi or ride-share.

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 installing an ignition interlock device?

If you are convicted of a DUI in Arizona, you will be required to install an ignition interlock device in every car you drive. The only way to avoid having to put an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is to hire an aggressive DUI lawyer who will try to reduce or even eliminate your charges.

Visit the Shah Law Firm website at https://arjashahlaw.com or one of the links below for more information regarding the legislation governing the use of Ignition Interlock Devices.

https://sites.google.com/view/arijashahlaw/home