Ignition Interlock and Arizona DUI Laws

Arizona Interlock Laws

You’ve probably heard of an ignition interlock device if you were convicted of a DUI in Arizona (IID). So let’s learn more about Arizona DUI laws and ignition interlocks. Your case’s success depends on your ability to comprehend how these devices operate and how they relate to DUI convictions. One of the first states in the US to require the installation of an ignition interlock device when a person was found guilty of DUI for the first time was Arizona. After a driver is convicted of a first-time DUI, which happens when their blood alcohol content (BAC) is.08 or above, around one-third of the states in the nation mandate that the device is fitted.

An ignition interlock device, sometimes known as a breathalyzer, prevents a car from starting after a driver has consumed alcohol. Previously, the law mandated that the motorist who had been found guilty have the device mounted on his or her car for a year. After it has been utilized successfully for six months, changes to the law allow the possibility of a six-month postponement of the obligation. The most stringent and severe DUI regulations in the country are still found in Arizona.

Can You Avoid the Ignition Interlock Device after an Arizona DUI?

The installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) is a common consequence of committing a DUI in Arizona. This device, however, comes with associated costs and it requires maintenance. As a result, many people wonder whether it’s possible to avoid the IID installation in the aftermath of a DUI conviction.

When Is the IID Required?

Currently, all Arizona drivers found guilty of DUI will be required to have an IID installed in their car.

The law doesn’t make an exception for those who are found guilty of a DUI due to taking drugs or medications. While this provision doesn’t make a lot of sense, you’ll still have to install the IID in the car if your DUI is caused by prescription medications.

The initial requirement is for a one-year installation. Depending on the circumstances, the driver could ask for a revision and the removal of the IID after six months.

If you think that you can refrain from installing the IID after it has been ordered by the court, you should think again. While most states do not perform regular compliance checks, Arizona is an exception. Authorities could carry out unannounced inspections to find out if drivers are complying with the court-ordered measures. The consequences of failing to install the ignition interlock device or tampering with it could be serious.

What Does the Installation of the Ignition Interlock Device For An Arizona DUI Involve?

There is much more to an initial DUI conviction in Arizona than the installation of an ignition interlock device. If you are convicted of DUI and must install the device, you will also be required to cover the cost of installing the device, which is about $120, and you will be required to pay the monthly maintenance fee, which is about $80 per month. The costs related to the ignition interlock device can add up fast, so you want an Arizona DUI attorney to represent you and help make sure the device doesn’t have to stay on your vehicle any longer than it needs to be there.

How Does An Ignition Interlock Device Required By Arizona DUI Law Work?

The device itself is small, only slightly larger than a cellphone. It must be installed in the vehicle by being wired into the ignition of the vehicle. The technician will install it in the dashboard of the vehicle, and it is set up so the vehicle will not start until the driver has given a breath sample. To do this, the driver will exhale into the device providing a sample to be checked for alcohol. When the test is clear, the engine will start so the driver can operate the vehicle. If the driver consumed alcohol, the engine will not start.

Exemptions for Ignition interlock device in AZ?

Ignoring court orders isn’t an option but is there any legal possibility for avoiding the installation of the ignition interlock device?

Even if you promise that you’re not going to drive a car for the coming year, you’ll still need to get and install the IID. According to A.R.S. 28-1464, you need to have the IID even if you decide to borrow a car or use a rent-a-car service. You cannot be 100 percent confident that you’re not going to drive in the coming year for the purpose of avoiding IID expenses.

The only exception is a substantial emergency. This is a situation in which a person can drive a car that lacks an IID (to get to a hospital, for example).

Not only is it impossible to avoid the requirement, but you will also need to have an IID in all of the vehicles that you operate. In the absence of IIDs, a person found guilty of DUI could be banned from operating a vehicle altogether.

There is only one exception to the IID requirement.

Currently, it’s possible for people charged with DUI after taking drugs to avoid the installation of an ignition interlock device. This is possible, however, only if the person is convicted of a DUI under a certain law.

The exception is listed in A.R.S. 28-1381 (A)(3). A person will be freed from having to install an ignition interlock device if they commit a DUI after taking a drug defined in A.R.S. 13-3401 or their metabolites. In addition, this should be the first drug-related offense with no prior DUI convictions in the previous 84 months.

To benefit from the opportunity, the person should also be committing solely a misdemeanor rather than a felony DUI.

As of 2018, judges have more control over when to mandate the installation of IIDs. The decision is left to their discretion but you shouldn’t count on leniency, especially if the charges come with aggravating factors.

The Effectiveness of IIDs

One of the oldest studies on the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices was published in 1999 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This was a meta-analysis that brought together 31 clinical works to examine the data.

Researchers found out that the installation of IIDs significantly reduced the risk of repeat alcohol-related traffic offenses. The data suggested that getting re-arrested on DUI charges was reduced by 65 percent in the IID group in comparison to a control group.

A newer study was presented in 2017, once again suggesting that IIDs are an effective measure to prevent DUIs and their consequences.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found out that states in which IID installation is mandated by law (Arizona is one of them) see approximately 1,250 fewer fatal crashes involving intoxicated drivers than states that don’t have such requirements.

According to researchers, IIDs are effective enough to change behaviors and save lives. This is one of the most studied anti-DUI measures and the huge volume of research consistently proves that IIDs work.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with a statement that IID installation reduces repeat offenses by about 70 percent. This statement is in line with what prior research suggests.

Challenges to Effectiveness of IIDs

It’s interesting to point out that other studies have come to an alternative conclusion about IIDs and their effectiveness.

One study presented in 2004 suggested that the reduction in fatal crashes following the installation of IIDs was only seven percent. This reduction was seen as modest in comparison to the cost of having ignition interlock devices installed and maintained properly.

Another study presented by California DMV showed that IIDs were completely ineffective. The study is a follow-up to a 2002 analysis that showed the number of IIDs installed in the state following a DUI. The aim of the second study was to find out whether IIDs reduced alcohol-related crashes and convictions.

The report states that IIDs do not work in certain contexts. There was some evidence that IID installation produces positive outcomes for repeat offenders but not necessarily for first-time offenders.

Some make the claim that people who want to consume alcohol and drive will always find a way to operate a vehicle. Thus, these experts suggest that education and rehabilitation programs will provide much better results than IID.

Are You Going to Have an IID Installed in Your Car?

If you have been convicted of a DUI in Arizona, getting an IID in your car will be a likely outcome. Most often, overcoming this requirement is getting the DUI charges dismissed altogether.

An experienced DUI attorney can help you accomplish the goal. Once they become acquainted with the situation, the lawyer will draft an effective defense strategy. Procedural errors, false positives on BAC tests, and a failure to protect the defendant’s rights can all be proven and they will lead to the dismissal of the charges.

Do not undertake anything on your own! According to Arizona regulations, IID compliance has to be proved to the MVD every 90 days. If you fail to do so, you risk getting your license suspended indefinitely.

Rolling Tests with Ignition Interlock and Arizona DUI Laws

Besides the initial sample, the driver might require rolling tests, which make the driver give random breath samples while the car is in operation. If the driver doesn’t provide those required rolling samples, a warning will sound. The warning will trigger an alarm that will sound until the vehicle’s ignition is turned off. The random rolling tests were designed to reduce the chances of a driver using a friend or relative to provide breath samples so they can get the car going. Also, it is to make sure that the driver doesn’t consume alcohol while the vehicle is in motion.

As a safety measure, the machine will not shut off an engine that is already running. The breath sample is used because if the driver has consumed alcohol it will be on the driver’s breath. The alcohol will get into the bloodstream and eventually, it will reach the lungs where carbon dioxide is changed for oxygen. If alcohol is in the system, it releases in the lungs and will come out in the individual’s breath. If the BAC exceeds the level that has been pre-set, the vehicle will not start. If you are facing DUI charges, talk with an Arizona DUI attorney today.

To sum it up, getting out of the DUI process in Arizona without having to install an ignition interlock device is going to be very difficult. Your DUI attorney could negotiate the best conditions if they have sufficient experience and knowledge of the newest legal developments. If you’re charged with DUI, get in touch with your lawyer as soon as possible to determine the best course of action.

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