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Ignition Interlock Devices in Arizona

An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer device that connects onto a motor vehicle ignition system. A driver must blow into the device and have the BAC level result read below .02 in order for the motor vehicle to start.  Otherwise, the vehicle will not operate but an alarm will sound to help notify law enforcement that the person was attempting to violate the ignition interlock device system and that the would-be driver had alcohol in their system.  Periodically while driving, the ignition interlock device may also require the drive to blow into the device to monitor the person’s alcohol levels.  A person is not allowed to tamper with the device; nor is it legal for another person to breathe into another person’s device for the purposes of letting the driver operate the vehicle.

Arizona has proscribed that all persons convicted of any DUI offense must have an ignition interlock device installed on their motor vehicle for at least a period of twelve months.  One convicted of a DUI must provide proof of installation of the ignition interlock device in their motor vehicle and must also bear the burden of paying for the costs of installation and maintenance.  The person must also report proof of compliance and inspection of the ignition interlock device at least once every ninety days in which they are required to use the device.

A person who is required to use an ignition interlock device must give notice to a person from whom they will rent, lease, or borrow a motor vehicle.  A person must not let a person who is required to have a device rent, lease, or borrow a motor vehicle unless it is a case of “substantial emergency” or unless the vehicle has an ignition interlock device already installed on the vehicle.

If an installer removes an ignition interlock device, they must give notice to the department that the vehicle is without the device.  The person then must provide evidence to the department within 7 hours that they have installed a new device on their motor vehicle.  Failure to do so will result in a suspension of the ignition interlock restricted driver’s license.

Many people feel that an ignition interlock device is intrusive to have and can be embarrassing, especially when one has company in the car or must use their car for business or travel.  However, it is important to note that have an ignition interlock restricted drivers license is much better than having a completely suspended license and the point of an interlock device is to ensure the safety of all people on the road.


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