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 national 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 their vehicle 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. However, this device comes with associated costs and 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?

All Arizona drivers found guilty of DUI must have an IID installed in their car.

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

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 you can refrain from installing the IID after the court has ordered it, you should think again. While most states do not perform regular compliance checks, Arizona is an exception. Authorities could conduct unannounced inspections to determine if drivers comply with the court-ordered measures. The consequences of failing to install the ignition interlock device or tampering with it could be severe.

What Does the Ignition Interlock Device Installation for an Arizona DUI Involve?

There is much more to an initial DUI conviction in Arizona than installing 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 ensure 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. The technician will install it in the vehicle’s dashboard, which is set up, so the car will not start until the driver has given a breath sample. To do this, the driver will exhale into the device, providing a model to be checked for alcohol. The engine will start when the test is straightforward so the driver can operate the vehicle. If the driver consumes alcohol, the machine will not start.

Exemptions for an 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 you’ll not drive a car for the coming year, you’ll still need to get and install the IID. According to ARS 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 will not drive in the coming year to avoid IID expenses.

The only exception is an actual emergency. This is a situation where 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 an IID in all the vehicles you operate. Without IIDs, a person guilty of DUI could be banned from using a car 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 specific law.

The exception is listed in ARS 28-1381 (A)(3). A person will be freed from installing an ignition interlock device if they commit a DUI after taking a drug defined in ARS 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 involve 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 meta-analysis brought together 31 clinical works to examine the data.

Researchers found that installing IIDs significantly reduced the risk of repeat alcohol-related traffic offenses. The data suggested that getting re-arrested on DUI charges was decreased by 65 percent in the IID group compared 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 massive research volume consistently proves that IIDs work.

Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that IID installation reduces repeat offenses by about 70 percent, which aligns with what prior research suggests.

Challenges to the Effectiveness of IIDs

Interestingly, other studies have reached 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 compared to the cost of having ignition interlock devices installed and maintained correctly.

Another study presented by California DMV showed that IIDs were utterly 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 second study aimed to determine whether IIDs reduced alcohol-related crashes and convictions.

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

Some 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 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. A warning will sound if the driver doesn’t provide those required rolling examples, and the notice will trigger an alarm 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 ensures 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 enter the bloodstream, eventually reaching the lungs, where carbon dioxide is changed for oxygen. If alcohol is in the system released 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 face DUI charges, talk with an Arizona attorney today.

To sum it up, getting out of the DUI process in Arizona without installing an ignition interlock device will 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 action.

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