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Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs after A Phoenix DUI

May 16

Top 10 Ignition Interlock Device FAQs after A Phoenix DUI

When someone are convicted of an Arizona DUI involving alcohol, one of the punishments they face is the requirement to install an ignition interlock device breathalyzer in every vehicle they drive. The length of time that people will be required to have these breathalyzer devices installed in their vehicles will be determined by the severity of the DUI, whether it is a misdemeanor or felony, the number of previous DUI convictions on your record within the last seven years, and your blood alcohol concentration at the time of arrest. The top ten ignition interlock device frequently asked questions from Shah Law Firm clients are shown below.

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 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 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 Having to Install an Ignition Interlock Device?

Any DUI conviction in Arizona will result in an order to install an ignition interlock device in every vehicle that you drive. The only way to avoid having to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle is to have an aggressive DUI attorney work to get your charges reduced or even your DUI dismissed completely.

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.

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