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After a DUI in Phoenix, here are the top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs

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. How Much Does an Ignition Interlock Device Cost?

People who are ordered to install ignition interlock devices as a part of their DUI sentences are required to do so at their own cost. The costs include the installation cost as well as monthly lease payments, monthly service costs, and removal costs. On average, there is an installation fee that can range up to $150 per vehicle and you can expect your monthly payments to range from $70 to $100. You do not purchase an ignition interlock device. Instead, these devices are leased for the duration of how long you are required to 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 Happens If I Fail a Breath Interlock Test?

When you initially get into your vehicle, you will need to blow into the tube for it to start. When a person has a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher, ignition interlock devices prevent vehicles from being started. An alarm will be sent to the ignition interlock device provider if you fail an interlock test. The supplier will then submit the failed test to the Arizona Department of Transportation MVD, which can prolong the time you must have the device placed in your car by at least six months, and in rare situations, even restart the mandatory period.

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 work for a company like Uber or Lyft as an independent driver?

If you are convicted of a DUI while working as a ride-share driver, you should expect to lose your job. Drivers for both Uber and Lyft are subjected to background checks. You will not pass the background check if you have been convicted of DUI within the last seven years. If you already drive for Uber or Lyft, the businesses do annual background checks on their employees. When they find your DUI, you will lose your ability to use the app. You must have an ignition interlock device placed in any car you drive, including any vehicle you might use for Uber or Lyft, even if you are between annual background checks.

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 if I Smoked Marijuana?

Ignition interlock devices do not detect marijuana on your breath. However, you should avoid driving if you are impaired to the slightest degree by marijuana. If you do, you could be charged with a new Marijuana DUI based on the levels of THC in your system.

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