I Have An Ignition Interlock Device, Now What?

All Arizona DUI convictions in now require an ignition interlock device for at least a year. Practically speaking, this means that a person will be forced to “blow” into the device to show there is no alcohol in his or her  system every time he or she starts a car, and approximately every 15 to 30 minutes while the vehicle is operating.

There are also several Arizona statutes relating to the interlock device once it has been installed in a vehicle.  Failure to comply with these laws can result in either: (1) an extended interlock period; and/or (2) a driver’s license suspension.  Below is a summary of the requirements that apply to a person who has already had an interlock device installed.

First, there are several reporting requirements for those required to have an interlock device.  The Motor Vehicle Division’s website mandates that:

Once installed in your vehicle, the CIID [Certified Ignition Interlock Device] must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer every 30 days for the first three months and then every other month for the duration of installation requirement. The inspections make sure the device is working properly and detect any issues of non-compliance…

Ignition Interlock Restricted License

Moreover, under § 28-1461, a person must provide proof of compliance with an ignition interlock device to the department at least every 90 days.  If a person fails to submit proof of compliance, the person’s license will be suspended indefinitely until he or she proves compliance with the guidelines. See A.R.S. § 28-1463.  Most people rely on the interlock company to comply with these requirements.  I strongly recommend that a person audit the interlock company to make sure they have complied with the mandatory reporting requirements.  If the company fails to appropriately comply with the reporting requirements, the person will face the prescribed penalties.

Second, the interlock device must be installed by an authorized installer. This issue usually arises for non-Arizona residents. For example, a Texas resident visits Arizona and receives a DUI conviction. He returns to his home in Texas and gets an interlock device installed in Texas.  To comply with Arizona law the person should confirm the company is authorized by Arizona’s Motor Vehicle Division (there are national companies authorized out of Arizona.) Simply getting the device installed by a non-authorized company may not comply with the Arizona requirements.

Third, the person must have an interlock device in any vehicle he or she drives. For example, if a person owns two vehicles, that person cannot simply drive the car that does not have the interlock.  The person should view the interlock requirement as a restriction of his or her entire driving privileges.  Thus, the device must be in any vehicle they drive.

Fourth, there is also a restriction from providing a person with a interlock requirement a vehicle.  Arizona law provides:

Except in cases of a substantial emergency, a person shall not knowingly rent, lease or lend a motor vehicle to a person whose driving privilege is limited pursuant to section 28-1381, 28-1382, 28-1383 or 28-3319 unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a functioning certified ignition interlock device…

On the other hand, a person with the interlock requirement: “who rents, leases or borrows a motor vehicle from another person shall notify the person who rents, leases or lends the motor vehicle to the person that the person has specific requirements for the operation of the motor vehicle and the nature of the requirements.” Consequently, attempting to rent a car without the device will not satisfy Arizona law.

In the final analysis, the post-installation interlock requirements are numerous.  The penalties for non-compliance are harsh.  Therefore, if a person is required to install the device, he or she must become familiar with all terms of compliance, or the restriction may go well beyond the initial one-year term.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Motor Vehicle Division, an ignition interlock device is:

…slightly larger than a cell phone and is wired to your vehicle’s ignition.  The device…requires your breath sample before the engine will start.  If the ignition interlock device detects alcohol on your breath, the engine will not start.  As you drive, you are periodically required to provide breath samples to ensure the continued absence of alcohol in your system.

When the Arizona Certified Ignition Interlock Program requires the uses of a Certified Ignition Interlock Device (CIID) following a period of driver suspension / revocation, you must have one installed by a company that is authorized by the Department of Motor Vehicles (MVD).  Moreover, the MVD will monitor drivers required to have the device installed.  A person will also receive a replacement driver’s license with “Ignition Interlock” written on it.

After the device is installed, the CIID must be calibrated and inspected by a certified installer every thirty (30) days for the first three months and then every other month for the duration of the installation requirement.  Drivers who do not comply with the CIID requirements are reported to MVD and may have the period for use extended.