What Is the Certified Ignition Interlock Program?

An ignition interlock device (IID) fits into a vehicle and prevents it from driving until the driver blows into a breath analysis machine to ensure the driver’s sobriety. The Certified Ignition Interlock Program handles the installation and monitoring of these devices after a driver’s license suspension or revocation. If you or a loved one has ever had a DUI offense in Arizona, you will likely be familiar with IIDs.

How Do IIDs Work?

An IID fits into a vehicle’s dashboard and connects to the ignition system. When the driver attempts to drive, he or she must blow into the IID breathalyzer before the vehicle will start. If the IID detects any alcohol in the driver’s breath, the vehicle will not start and initiates a lockout period. IIDs will also require subsequent breath analyses as a trip continues. These secondary checks happen at random intervals, and the driver will need to blow into the device again so the IID can ensure he or she has not started drinking alcohol after the first breath sample. If the driver fails to provide an additional sample, the system will log the event and sound an alarm until the driver stops the vehicle and turns off the ignition or provides another clean breath sample. For obvious safety reasons, the IID will not shut off a vehicle in motion if the driver blows a bad sample or fails to provide one.

The Certified Ignition Interlock Program reports a 40% to 95% reduction in the rate of repeat DUI offenses thanks to IIDs. These devices compel sober driving and can help drivers cultivate and maintain better driving habits. Additionally, the program provides monitoring and calibration services for IIDs, and a driver with an installed IID will need to submit his or her vehicle for inspection and recalibration every 30 days. Drivers who fail to meet these obligations or who repeatedly fail breath samples may require the use of IIDs for longer.

Concerns for Drivers Who Must Install IIDs

If a judge recently decreed that you must have an IID installed in your vehicle, you will need to pay for the cost of the device and installation. These costs vary by manufacturer and installer, and your DUI attorney can help you find a reasonable and reputable installer for your IID. Remember that if you receive an order to install an IID and fail to provide proof of doing so within 30 days, you may lose your driver’s license for longer than you originally expected and may need an IID for longer than originally required.

It’s also vital to refrain from driving other vehicles without IIDs. If you drive while required to use an IID in another vehicle, the court will likely extend your IID requirement period by one year. If you do not own a vehicle, you will need to wait out the remainder of your suspension period and will need an IID before any reinstatement of your driving rights will take place. Any tampering or interference with an IID device will also lead to a one-year extension of your IID requirement period.

If you intend to move out of Arizona, you must still comply with your original IID requirement period. Your IID installer can refer you to a new installer in your new state, and you will need to continue working with the new installer for calibrations for the remainder of your IID requirement period. If you live in another state but received a DUI charge in Arizona, you will need to find an IID installed in your home state capable of providing the services and devices required by Arizona state law. It is also your responsibility to ensure your IID can electronically send reports to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department.