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