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Driving after a DUI and the Ignition Interlock Device

Interviewer: Let’s discuss the ignition interlock device. When is the driver required to install the device and for how long must they maintain it?

The Device Must Be Installed in Your Vehicle for 6 Months to 2 Years

Brian Sloan: Everyone convicted of a DUI—whether it’s a regular DUI, extreme DUI, super extreme DUI, aggravated DUI—all drivers must have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle for a certain period of time. The device must be maintained for anywhere from six months to upwards of two years.

In Some Cases, the Only Way to Avoid the Installation of the Device to Plead Guilty, Which Results in a One Year Suspension

There is one exception and that is if you were to be convicted of DUI, drugs or medications, specifically, pursuing to Arizona Revised Statute 28-1381A3. If that person were to be convicted solely without offense, which is that you were in physical control of the car with any drug metabolized in your system, there is a may be a way of avoiding the installation of the device.

If a person is pleading guilty to just that charge then they’re going to end up losing their license for one year. So, it’s a trade-off. Yes, you may not have to do the ignition interlock device, but you are going to lose your license for one year. And there’s no restricted license available. You cannot drive to and from work and school for one year.

Refusals Face the One Year Suspension—If the Ignition Interlock Device Is Installed and the Driver Carries Sr22 Insurance, They May Have a Restricted License for the Last 9 Months of the Suspension

Actually, it’s a license revocation. The only other time when you technically need to have an ignition interlock device is if at the time that you were arrested, you refused the requested blood, breath or urine test by the officer. Then you end up losing your license for one year. It is suspended for one year for refusing.

You may be eligible to get a restricted ignition air-lock device license for the last nine months of that one year along with Sr22 high risk insurance. That’s the only situation where a person does not necessarily have to be convicted of a DUI in order to have that ignition interlock device.

There Are Some Situations Where the Driver Can Reduce the Time They Must Maintain the Ignition Interlock Device

But in nearly all of the situations, anyone convicted of a DUI will have to install the ignition interlock device. The current standing of the law is that if a person is convicted of a regular DUI, which is when they were in natural physical control of the car and their blood alcohol level is between a .08 and a .149. Although, technically, it could be below a point 08;because that indicates they were impaired to a slightest degree.

They are required to have an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operated for one year. However, the law allows them to uninstall the device after six months if they do that first six months correctly. Now, abiding by the rules for six months correctly means that they blow into the ignition interlock device every time, including when they are at their destination.

You Will Have to Maintain the Device for the Full Time Imposed If There Was an Accident at the Time the DUI Was Issued

The only other exception to that is that if you were in an accident when you were arrested and unfortunately, that could mean that you were the cause of the accident or that you were truly a victim of a car accident. If the police officer filled out a citation a certain way and notified the Motor Vehicle Division that you were somehow involved in an accident, you are not eligible to get that six months off of your ignition air-lock device.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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Why Brian Douglas Sloan?
AZ DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Douglas Sloan
  • 13+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense
  • Represented 2,600+ DUI Clients
    • Regular DUI
    • Extreme DUI
    • Super Extreme DUI
    • Drug/Medication DUI
  • Top One Percent in the Nation"
    National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Top 10 DUI Lawyers in Arizona”
    National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
  • “10 Best Client Satisfaction Award”
    American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
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  • Preeminent “4.9 / 5.0” -- Martindale-Hubbell
  • “Southwest Rising Star” -- Super Lawyers
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