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Everything You Need To Know About Ignition Interlock Devices

Dec 21, 2023 | DUI

One of the most inconvenient penalties for a DUI conviction is being ordered to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. If you are facing DUI charges, it’s important for you to understand how this potential outcome could impact your life moving forward. 

Whether you’re seeking information on the installation process, dealing with the day-to-day challenges, or contemplating the impact on insurance and legal obligations, this blog can serve as a valuable resource to guide you through the intricacies of life with an ignition interlock device.

What Is An Ignition Interlock Device (IID)?

An
IID
is a small, handheld breathalyzer for car ignitions that is installed with the purpose of impeding users from being able to start their vehicle after consuming alcohol. Most are about the size of a TV remote, and consist of a handheld unit, mouthpiece, relay cord, and camera unit. Users blow into the mouthpiece to provide a small sample, and the device will measure whether their breath alcohol content (BrAC) is within the legal limit (which is usually .02). If the sample is below the legal limit, the driver can then put their keys in the ignition and start the car, but if it is above, they will not be able to. Most IIDs also require the driver to continue providing samples at random time intervals as they travel.

When Are Ignition Interlock Devices Required?

According to the
Arizona Department of Transportation
, an individual is required to install and maintain an IID when their driving privileges are limited or restricted after having been convicted of a certain alcohol and/or drug related
violation
, such as if:

  • A second drunk-driving offense occurs within 84 months
  • A third or subsequent drunk-driving offense aggravated DUI)
  • A drunk-driving offense where the offender is driving on a suspended or revoked license for a prior DWI offense or a prior admin per se violation
  • A first or second BAC of 0.15 offense, or
  • A drunk-driving child endangerment offense

It must be installed, with verification provided to Arizona MVD within 30 days of conviction, and used for at least one year following the date that the user’s driving privilege was eligible to be reinstated, or from the date MVD receives the report of the conviction (whichever occurs later). 

How Are Ignition Interlock Devices Installed?

A state-approved IID provider must be the one to install and service devices to ensure that it is done according to legal standards. At the appointment, the installer will inspect the vehicle to determine if it meets the necessary requirements, which include a functioning battery, a stable electrical system, and compliance with state regulations. 

The IID will be installed and connected to the ignition system by wiring, then will be calibrated and configured. The service technician will then instruct the owner of the vehicle on how to use the device. 

How Are Ignition Interlock Devices Maintained And Calibrated?

IIDs require periodic
maintenance
and calibration to ensure the readings remain accurate. At the installation appointment, the technician will discuss the schedule for regular service appointments – as often as every month, in some cases. Data from the device will be retrieved and made available to the monitoring agency of the driver, such as a probation officer, the court system, or the DMV. 

How Do Ignition Interlock Devices Affect Daily Life?

IIDs can disrupt an individual’s daily life in several ways, and have a severe impact on their daily routine. For example:

  • IIDs are time-consuming – they add an extra step to the process of starting a vehicle, which can by bothersome if the driver is in a hurry
  • Rolling retests are inconvenient – having to pull over at random intervals to retest can also be bothersome, especially if the driver is in a hurry, or if the traffic or weather conditions are particularly bad
  • The social stigma behind IIDs can be harsh – many drivers feel that they will be judged if friends, family, or coworkers know that they have one installed on their vehicle
  • IIDs restrict a driver’s vehicle access – the individual required to have an IID may only drive the vehicle in which it is installed, adding inconvenience if they live in a household with multiple vehicles
  • IIDs have a significant financial impact – the cost associated with installing and maintaining an IID can be a financial burden
  • IIDs can impact employment – especially if the individual has a job which involves driving 
  • IIDs can sometimes read false – some food and beverages, as well as other products like mouthwash, hand sanitizer, mouthwash, hairspray, and perfume can cause a failed breath test and prevent the driver from being able to start their car, even though they have not consumed alcohol
  • And more.

How Do Ignition Interlock Devices Affect Insurance Rates?

There are several consequences of DUI charges and court-ordered IIDs to the owner’s insurance, such as:

  • Possible SR-22 or FR-44 requirements, which are associated with higher premiums
  • Being categorized as a “high-risk” driver
  • Premiums increased as much as 87%
  • A limited choice of providers
  • Ineligibility for certain discounts, such as safe driver
  • Mandatory non-owned or named operator policies
  • Reporting requirements
  • Reinstatement fees
  • And more!

In Order To Avoid Making An IID Your Reality, You Need Aggressive Legal Representation.

As you can see, living with an ignition interlock device on your vehicle is overall irritating, expensive, and inconvenient. In order to have the best chance at getting DUI charges reduced or dropped altogether, and to eliminate the risk of being ordered to install an IID on your vehicle, it is imperative that you contact Alatorre Law as soon as possible. 

Our lead attorney, Javier Alatorre, has nearly two decades of experience, and is strategic in challenging DUI charges successfully. He will put you in the best position for moving forward without facing the severe penalties that a DUI could bring to your life.
Call today
to schedule your free consultation and learn more about how our firm can give you an advantage!

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