Ignition Interlock Laws in Arizona
Arizona law requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) when driving privileges have been suspended or revoked for driving under the influence (DUI). Under Arizona law, DUI includes the influence of liquor, drugs that are not prescribed by a medical practitioner, a vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance or any combination of liquor, drugs or vapor releasing substance containing a toxic substance. The IID is the size of a cell phone, is mounted on the dashboard of the vehicle and is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system. Arizona law requires that IIDs for use in the state must be obtained from a provider that is certified by the state.
Prior to starting the vehicle, the driver is required to blow into the device. If the IID detects an alcohol content that is higher than a preset limit, the vehicle will not start. The IID requires rolling breath tests while the offender is operating the vehicle. If the driver’s breath alcohol content exceeds the preset limit or if a sample is not provided, the device will log the event, warn the driver and then begin an alarm sequence. The alarm will continue until the vehicle ignition is turned off or the driver submits a breath sample that is below the preset limit. Failure to comply with the rolling breath tests will result in a court order for an extension to the IID requirement. The results of any and all breath samples are sent electronically by the device to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
Offenders must have IIDs installed on any and all vehicles they operate, including vehicles that are not registered in their names. Offenders who are found driving a vehicle without an IID installed will have their IID requirement extended for one year. An offender who is required to operate non-commercial vehicles as part of the normal scope of employment must have the employer complete the ignition interlock employer notification form. The offender must carry a copy of the form at all times while operating the employer-owned vehicle.
The IID is required as a condition of reinstatement of the offender’s driving privileges. Arizona courts will order the installation of IIDs for a period of at least 12 months in cases of a first or second offense DUI or extreme DUI. For offenders convicted of first time extreme DUI with blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.20 or higher at the time of the arrest, the IID is required for a period of 18 months. For a second offense extreme DUI with a BAC of 0.20 or higher or aggravated DUI, the IID is ordered for a period of 24 months. If the IID is ordered for a period of more than 12 months, the IID requirement begins on the date that the Arizona MVD receives notice of the conviction. In all other cases, the IID requirement begins on the date of reinstatement of the offender’s driving privileges.
If the offender’s driver license is suspended or revoked as a result of a DUI-related conviction, the offender may be eligible for a special restricted driver license. The special restricted license is valid only during the period of suspension or revocation. Offenders must only use the special restricted licenses for driving to and from their residence, place of employment during regular work hours, secondary or postsecondary school during their educational schedule, a treatment or screening facility for scheduled appointments, the office of their probation officers for scheduled appointments, the office of a physician or other health care professional and a certified IID service facility. Driving with a special restricted license for any other purposes or during any other times will result in additional legal action. Offenders with a commercial driver license are required to obtain a class D special restricted driver license.
To obtain the restricted license, the offender must contact the Arizona MVD to verify eligibility, have no other outstanding withdrawal actions pending, install an IID on all vehicles operated by the offender and provide proof of IID installation to MVD. Additionally, the offender must comply with any mandatory alcohol treatment programs, submit proof of completion to MVD, provide proof of future financial responsibility and pay all applicable fees.
Offenders are responsible for any and all costs associated with ignition interlock device’s, including installation and monitoring. Arizona law requires that IIDs must be calibrated and inspected by the IID provider every 30 days for the first three months and every 90 days thereafter. Offenders who do not comply with the requirement for inspections and calibrations will have their driving privileges suspended until proof of compliance is submitted to MVD. After the inspections, the IID provider notifies MVD that the IID is calibrated and functioning properly. The provider also reports any failures to comply with the court order including tampering and circumvention. In these cases, the courts will extend the IID requirement for an additional six to 12 months.