If you get convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, part of your sentence will most likely be the requirement to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. This device requires you to blow an alcohol-free breath before your vehicle’s engine will start. Most IID requirements last for 12 months or longer. However, depending on your situation, you may be eligible for a six-month deferment.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a small breathalyzer that is installed in your car and wired to your vehicle’s ignition. A breathalyzer takes your breath and analyzes it to measure the amount of alcohol in your system. An IID works by requiring a driver to blow into it and register no alcohol before allowing the vehicle to start. The engine will only start if you blow a blood alcohol content level of 0.00.
Any detectable amount of alcohol on the breathalyzer test means that the car will not turn on. In addition to using the IID before starting your car, it also requires rolling retests while the vehicle is in motion. This is to ensure that you didn’t start drinking after turning on the engine. Your test results will automatically be sent to the authorities in charge of supervising the IID. The real-time results and GPS capabilities allow the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to locate you if you fail a rolling retest. The MVD will be notified if you attempt to drink and drive.
In addition, Arizona’s ignition interlock device requirements state that a photo will be taken of you every time you give a breath sample. This is to find out if you look visibly intoxicated or impaired – including impaired by drugs – when you give your breath sample. If you are required to install an IID in your vehicle(s), you are responsible for paying for the installation and monthly upkeep fees out of pocket for the duration of your sentence.
How Long Do You Have to Have an Ignition Interlock Device in Arizona?
In most cases, the amount of time a driver is required to have an ignition interlock device installed is 12 months (one year). From there, the length of time increases based on the nature of the crime the driver has been convicted of and his or her criminal record. If this is not your first DUI conviction, for example, or you caused a serious DUI accident, you can generally expect a longer IID requirement, such as two or three years.
First-time violations, however, come with an average time requirement of 12 months. If this is your first driving under the influence violation, you may be eligible for a six-month deferment. This means you could take six months off of your required IID term if you meet certain requirements. During those six months, you will be under certain restrictions, such as receiving no traffic violations. If you violate the program, the MVD can add time to your IID requirement.
Requesting a Six-Month Deferment
You may qualify for a six-month ignition interlock device deferment if this is your first DUI in the prior seven years, your violation occurred in the year 2012 or later, your DUI did not involve a car accident, and you complete at least a 16-hour alcohol education program. If you fulfill these requirements, you can typically shorten your requirement by six months. During those six months, you must properly maintain your IID without any lapses – including paying the monthly fee – and you must supply all required information to the Arizona MVD.
You will not qualify for the six-month deferment if you blew a blood alcohol content level at or above 0.08 percent two or more times while you were required to use the ignition interlock device. You also cannot be convicted of any other violations. To find out if you qualify for the six-month deferment, call the Arizona MVD to discuss your particular circumstances. If you need assistance requesting the deferment or with other aspects of your DUI case, contact the drunk driving defense attorneys at the Law Offices of John Phebus.