What Happens If You Violate DUI Interlock Ignition Laws in Arizona?

Understanding The Arizona Laws Regarding Interlock Devices

Driving a vehicle with an ignition interlock device can feel overwhelming. These ultra-sensitive devices can detect even the smallest amount of alcohol in your breath, locking down your vehicle’s ignition and preventing you from being able to drive. Installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, and on any other vehicle you drive, is a common consequence of DUI convictions in Arizona. Choosing not to install the device or failing the test can lead to violations and additional consequences. If you are unclear about the regulations of your interlock device, contact your Phoenix DUI law office.

Violating DUI interlock ignition laws in Arizona

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

A safety device that is designed to prevent people from driving while under the influence of alcohol, an ignition interlock device requires drivers to take a breath test before they can start the ignition on their vehicle. The threshold in Arizona is 0.02. If the driver fails the initial test, there is a short lockout period before the driver can try again.

While the vehicle is in operation, the device will request occasional random samples, which are called rolling retests. If the driver fails a rolling retest, an alarm will sound in the vehicle until the driver stops, turns off the vehicle, and takes another test.

Ignition Interlock Violations In Arizona

Each state has different laws regarding the failure of ignition interlock tests. In Arizona, drivers who are age 21 or older will receive a violation for failing two breath tests. Drivers who are under age 21 will receive a violation for just one failed breath test. Additionally, missing or failing three consecutive rolling tests constitutes a violation.

Anytime you receive a violation of the ignition interlock test, the Arizona MVD will notify you before they take any actions, which may include revoking your driver’s license altogether or extending the time in which you must utilize the interlock device. This means you’ll be able to request a hearing with the court and your Phoenix DUI lawyers, which can be relieving to people who are concerned about false positives or other mechanical errors.

Ignition Interlock Violations In Arizona

There are five types of ignition interlock violations in Arizona, each of which can result in consequences that include an extension of the time where an interlock device is mandated, a driver’s license suspension, or criminal prosecution:

  • Failed breath test: Drivers who are under age 21 will receive a violation for every failed breath test while drivers who are over 21 will receive a violation for their second failed breath tests. A violation results in a 6 month extension of the interlock device.
  • Failed or missed rolling retest: All drivers will receive a violation after 3 failed or missed rolling retests. This can include turning off your vehicle while the device requests a sample, either intentionally or accidentally, and results in a 6 month extension.
  • Missed 90-day calibration appointment: A failure to bring your vehicle in to a registered service provider in order to have the device checked and recalibrated will reset the mandated time period and result in a license suspension.
  • Tampering with the device: Any attempts to alter or circumvent the device will result in a 6 month extension and the potential for Class 1 misdemeanor charges and consequences, which generally include fines and even jail time.
  • Early disconnection or removal of the device: Failure to follow the regulations of your device will result in a suspended license and resets your timeframe. The only exception is when you switch vehicles, in which case you have 72 hours to remove and re-install the device on the new vehicle.

Six Month Deferment Period

First time offenders may be able to have their interlock device removed after six months if they meet all of the following conditions:

  • This is your first DUI offense and it was not an extreme DUI
  • Your violation did not cause a car accident
  • You have successfully completed 16 hours of substance abuse education
  • You have not had any ignition interlock test violations during the first six months
  • You have taken your vehicle in as directed for four 90 day calibration appointments, your electronic reports have been received, and your most recent check was in the last 35 days

If you believe you’re ready to apply for a six month deferment, contact your Phoenix DUI attorneys and the MVD to begin the process.

Although it may be stressful or frustrating to deal with an ignition interlock device, the good news is that many drivers can be eligible for a deferment period. However, some drivers choose not to abide by the regulations set forth by the court and will face consequences for violations, which include an extension or reset of the time in which they are mandated to drive with an ignition interlock, a driver’s license suspension, or even a Class 1 misdemeanor if they attempt to tamper with the device.

If you believe you may have violated laws regarding an ignition interlock or have questions about the requirements, discuss the situation confidentially with Arizona Zero Down DUI to help you understand your rights and legal options, and provide representation if it is needed.


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