Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device Questions After a DUI in Phoenix
After a DUI in Phoenix, here are the top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs
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 Do I Have to Have an Interlock Device Installed?
How long you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle depends on the number of convictions you have had in the last seven years and your BAC at the time of your arrest. If you are convicted of driving under the influence as a first DUI offense with a BAC of 0.08%, you will have to have the device installed for 12 months. If your conviction was for an extreme DUI with a BAC ranging from 0.15 to 0.199% as a first offense, you will still be required to have the device installed in your vehicle for 12 months. If you are convicted of a super extreme DUI with a BAC of 0.20% or higher as a first offense, you will be ordered to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle 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 fails and provides an incorrect reading?
Ignition interlock devices measure the percentage of alcohol on your breath in a similar way to the portable breath tests police use during traffic stops. Portable breath tests and ignition interlock devices, on the other hand, can potentially produce false positives due to a variety of causes. A substance in your mouth when you offer a breath sample is the most common cause of a false positive on an ignition interlock device. Ignition interlock devices are calibrated to detect even the tiniest amounts of alcohol in exhaled breath samples. You could get a false-positive result on the test if you have tiny levels of alcohol or another substance that can cause a misleading reading.
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.
For more information about laws governing the use of Ignition Interlock Devices visit the Shah Law Firm website at https://arjashahlaw.com or one of the resources below.