As part of your Arizona DUI charge or conviction, you may be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle as a part of your criminal penalties. Failure to follow the strict rules associated with the use of these devices can lead to additional criminal penalties.
Following the guidelines imposed upon you in connection with the ignition interlock device is extremely important. If you have violated one of those guidelines an experienced Arizona criminal defense attorney can help you with your case.
What is an Ignition Interlock Device?
An ignition interlock device is a breathalyzer which is connected to your motor vehicle (car, truck, SUV, etc.) that requires you to blow into to determine whether you are allowed to drive. The device measures your blood alcohol content (BAC) to determine if there is alcohol in your system. Any amount of alcohol can cause you to fail this test, rendering your car inoperable.
These devices are also able to create reports of any failed "blows" and report them to your probation officer and the court. Failure to pass these tests can impact your criminal DUI proceedings and subject you to further penalties.
What Happens If I Drive Without the Device?
If you choose to drive without the ignition interlock device, when a court has ordered you to do so, you are in violation of A.R.S. § 28-1464. That law sets forth specific ways an individual can violate the terms of the ignition interlock device process, as well as penalties for any breach of the law.
- Other individuals are not authorized to rent, lease, or lend you a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle is equipped with an ignition interlock device.
- If you wish to borrow a motor vehicle from another person, you are required to tell him or her about the specific requirements of your device.
- You may not ask or allow someone else to blow into the test for you to allow you to operate your vehicle. Both you and the person who "helped" you can face criminal sanctions.
- Neither you or anyone else may tamper with the device in any way in order to circumvent its use.
- You are required to present proof of installation of the device on each of the motor vehicles you drive. Failure to do so will result in revocation of your special driving privileges.
- If you have an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, and you are placed under arrest, you are required to submit to any test chosen by law enforcement.
Special exceptions can be made in the case of a "substantial emergency," but this requires not only that such an emergency existed but that no other driver was available who could drive instead.
If you breach one of the conditions of your ignition interlock device, you face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. The maximum penalty for a Class 1 misdemeanor is up to 6 months in jail and a fine of not more than $2,500.
Along with the penalties of the Class 1 misdemeanor, failure to use the ignition interlock device appropriately can result in an extension of the period you are required to use the device. That period can be extended up to one additional year.
Consult a DUI Attorney
If you have violated the terms of your ignition interlock device, an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Shawn B. Hamp can represent you in your defense.
We serve clients in Mohave, Yavapai, La Paz, and Coconino Counties, including the communities of Kingman, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu, Parker, Prescott, Williams and Flagstaff, Arizona. Contact us today for a free consultation.