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Ignition interlock devices in Arizona DUI cases

The purpose of an ignition interlock device is to measure a driver's blood alcohol content before he or she can drive an automobile.
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    December 20, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Arizona drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence face a variety of potential consequences depending upon the nature of the circumstances surrounding their arrests. DUI penalties in Arizona can include fines, jail sentences, suspension or revocation of driving privileges and more. During the DUI defense process, the specific penalties are worked out in each case.

What are ignition interlock devices?

An ignition interlock device is essentially a breathalyzer that is mounted onto a vehicle's dashboard and electronically connected via a microchip to the vehicle's ignition. Some drivers with DUI convictions are required by the court to have an IID installed as part of their sentence.

The purpose of an ignition interlock device is to measure a driver's blood alcohol content before he or she can drive an automobile, essentially preventing a driver from driving while intoxicated again. The process of using an IID is simple:
- A driver turns the vehicle ignition--but not the engine--to the on position and blows into the dash-mounted device.
- The device sends a signal to the ignition chip with the registered BAC.
- If the BAC is below a preset level, the vehicle is able to be started and driven.
- If the BAC is above the preset level, the vehicle ignition is locked and a further test is required to be passed before the automobile will be allowed to be started.

Drivers who pass the initial test and are allowed to drive for that given journey will be alerted at random times but approximately every 15 minutes to take additional tests. These are often called rolling retests because the driver can take the test while operating the car as it can be conducted completely hands-free.

If a rolling retest is failed, an ignition interlock device cannot stop a vehicle. However, the IID will send out various signals and alarms until the driver turns off the ignition. These signals include horn honking and lights flashing.

When is an IID required in Arizona?

The required use of an IID can be up to an individual judge but there are guidelines for the installation of such devices in Arizona. Drivers with a first DUI conviction may or may not have to install the IID for a period of up to 12 months. Drivers with a first DUI and a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent or higher can be required to use the IID for 18 months.

Second-offense drivers with a BAC below 0.20 percent or those convicted of an extreme DUI will be required to use the IID for one year. Two-time DUI convictions with a BAC higher than 0.20 percent will be ordered to use the ignition interlock device for two years.

Understanding the laws and your rights

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence and are facing the possibility of consequences such as jail time, fines or the installation of an ignition interlock device, you should discuss your situation with an attorney to have the best representation and defense possible.

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