Ignition Interlock Laws

Arizona’s ignition interlock law is one of the toughest in the nation. A person convicted of a 1st offense DUI is required to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in any vehicle they drive for a full year.  This law was passed in 2007. Attempts to scale back the requirement to only 6 months were vetoed by the governor, so for now we are stuck with this very punitive law.

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What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

An interlock device is a small box about the size of a large cell phone that connects to your car’s ignition. To start your car you must blow into it, and the device must record no alcohol on your breath (typically calibrated to .02% BAC). You may also be subject to random retests as you are driving (you must pull over to safely take the test).

How Does the Program Work

  1. You typically have to serve a 90 day license suspension before you are eligible for the interlock program.
  2. You must be otherwise eligible for the Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver License, or SIIRDL from the Arizona MVD. To be eligible means no other driver’s license restrictions other than the DUI charge.
  3. Once the MVD say you are eligible for the program, you can get the device installed in your vehicle.
  4. Documentation you will need to get your Restricted Driver’s License includes:
    1. Certified Validation of Ignition Interlock device installation.
    2. Certification that you completed alcohol education or addition treatment programs.
    3. Certification of high risk (SR-22) auto insurance.

Where do I get an Interlock Device?

Here is a list of certified ignition interlock vendors and installers in Arizona.

What Does it Cost?

For a 1 year ignition interlock device, it will end up costing you around $1000 in installation costs and monthly maintenance fees.

Am I Restricted in Where I Can Drive?

Yes, with a SIIRDL you are typically limited to driving to and from:

  • Your job
  • School
  • Alcohol treatment programs
  • Probation Officer meetings
  • Approved medical appointments
  • IID maintenance appointments

What Happens If I Fail a Test?

The result will be logged in the device’s records, and you may face having your license suspended, and possible probation violation.

What Happens if I Drive a Car Without the IID?

You will be charged with a crime if you are caught driving a car without an ignition interlock while licensed under your SIIRDL (Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver License).

Old Arizona Ignition Interlock Rules

Prior to the new law passing in 2007, there was no requirement for a 1st offense interlock, though it was possible at a judges discretion. More commonly a person would be required to get an ignition interlock on a first offense DUI conviction more often in the person’s blood alcohol level was over .15%.

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