Interviewer: Do you know anything about how much the interlocks cost to install and maintain and how they work?
Brian Sloan: The cost can vary for ignition interlock devices. There are many different providers. The one that I recommend, I believe, will install the ignition interlock device for free, will remove the ignition interlock device for free, and will charge something around $120 a month to maintain. There’s only one ignition interlock provider that I recommend, but there are probably about 12 or so out there that can do it.
Ignition Interlock Devices Cannot Be Installed on Motorcycles
The one problem that comes up with ignition interlock device occasionally is that there is not yet one available for motorcycles. I have heard of at least one instance where the ignition interlock device company was willing to put one on a motorcycle. The reason why they wouldn’t be able to do it is because of liability.
The ignition interlock devices are installed directly to the battery, directly into your vehicle. It is affordable. You have to blow into the device to start your engine. As you are driving along, every now and again, it’s going to start beeping at you. It wants you to wait until you get to a stop sign or a stop light, and then blow into it again to show that you are not driving while under the influence; and in reality you didn’t have someone else blowing into the device to get the vehicle to start and then you drove away.
Interviewer: Do the interlock devices take your picture when you blow into them?
Brian Sloan: I’ve heard that there are such ignition interlock devices. I’m not aware that they’re available in Arizona.
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Can You Be Sentenced to House Arrest or Be Ordered to Wear a Monitoring Device after a DUI Conviction?
Interviewer: How about house arrest or SCRAM bracelets or GPS monitoring? When do those restrictions occur in a DUI charge?
Brian Sloan: Right now house arrest is available in every city court in Maricopa County that I’m aware of, and in all the big cities. Continuous alcohol monitoring instead of house arrest is available only in the city of Phoenix. If at the county level, that’s Maricopa County Superior Court and any Maricopa County justice court and neither home detention nor continuous alcohol monitoring is available.
What Determines Whether Your Case Will Be Heard in County Court or City Court in Arizona?
Interviewer: What determines if your DUI case will be tried in a city court versus a county court?
The Location of Your Arrest and Which Agency Arrested You Determine Which Court Your Case Will Go To
Brian Sloan: Usually it’s where the person was arrested or who the arresting agency was. If it’s going to be a Phoenix police officer on a Phoenix street, it’s going to end up in a Phoenix court. If it’s going to be a sheriff’s deputy or someone on the freeway, possibly a DPS officer, it will tend to end up in a justice court.
Which Court Hears Your Case Is a Factor in Which Options you May Be Offered
The problem is that you have people that can literally be maybe 50 feet apart, that are both pulled over for DUIs, but one is technically on the highway, one is technically on the street. Both are arrested for the same exact offense. They can both be arrested for the exact same blood alcohol content, but they’re going to be given different options because of the courts that they’re in.
Home Detention Is an Option for Sentencing if You Are in City Court but Not If Your Case Is in County Court
Someone who is in a city court can shed a good amount of their sentence down to home detention because they are in a city court. Alternatively, the person who ends up in a justice court will not able to serve any of his or her sentence in home detention because home detention, as a form of punishment, does not exist. The option has not been approved yet by the County Board of Supervisors.
Interviewer: What other differences are there between going to a city court and a county court?
Other Differences among the Courts in Arizona: The City of Phoenix Will Not Negotiate a DUI down to a Reduced Charge
Brian Sloan: It really depends on the city court or the county court. Right now, the big differences are the city of Phoenix, in actually the prosecutor’s office. No matter what, they will not negotiate the DUI down to a charge such as like reckless driving. Just about every regular court in the county, whether it’s a justice court or a city court, will at least be open to the possibility of reducing a DUI down to a reckless driving.
Some County Courts Are Presided over by Justices of the Peace, Who May not Possess Any Background in the Law
City courts will allow for home detention, except that Phoenix will allow for home detention or continuous alcohol monitoring. City courts actually have judges, whereas justice courts have Justices of the Peace. Now, the problem with having Justices of the Peace is that likely, and I think in most cases, Justices of the Peace are not attorneys. They don’t have any legal background.
They are elected into that position. Sometimes, the legal arguments that are presented to the Justices of the Peace aren’t well understood because they don’t have the legal background to understand them.
Do Justices of the Peace Typically Hand down Harsher Sentences?
Interviewer: The people are likely to be dealt with more harshly by Justices of the Peace, or does that just make the outcome more uncertain?
Brian Sloan: It makes legal arguments more difficult. I don’t think that they are treated more harshly. I think that, as a defense attorney, there is a greater likelihood of winning a legal argument in front of a judge simply because they understand the legal aspects of the case.
Interviewer: That makes sense.
Brian Sloan: The Justices of Peace don’t want to appear that they don’t know what’s occurring in a legal argument. There seems to be a tendency to lean towards denying a defense motion simply because they don’t have a legal background to truly understand what’s being argued.