Explaining Ignition Interlock Requirements in Arizona
If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Arizona, you will have to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle, at your own expense, after your 90-day license suspension. The device is connected to your vehicle’s ignition. You must breathe into it, and if your blood-alcohol content registers higher than the legal limit, your vehicle will not start.
How long an ignition interlock device stays on your vehicle depends on the circumstances of your arrest, but the usual length of time is one year for a first DUI conviction. By working with a Mesa DUI attorney, you may be able to reduce that time or to avoid having the device installed at all by avoiding conviction.
Effective July 1, 2018, Arizona has a new law regulating ignition interlock devices. Any new devices installed on vehicles are now required to have a digital camera attached, GPS tracking ability, and the ability to send data from the device in real time. Any devices that do not meet these requirements will not fulfill the obligations of a DUI conviction.
Previously, ignition interlock devices only tested the blood-alcohol content of the driver through a breathalyzer. These additional features will allow officials to more closely monitor those who have been convicted of driving under the influence in an effort to keep the roads safer.
What the Changes Mean for Drivers
In the past, drivers who were convicted of DUI found all kinds of ways to avoid using the ignition interlock device. They could continue to drink and then get behind the wheel of a car. For example, they might have asked a passenger who had not been drinking to blow into the device. Or they may have tampered with the device electronically.
The updates to ignition interlock devices make it all but impossible for you to do that. The camera records who is blowing into the device, each and every time. The real-time reporting ensures that monitoring agencies have a record of when you drove the car and whether you tried to get someone to blow into the device so you could drive. GPS data also shows where you were every time you were in the car – data that could be used against you if you are in an accident and have been drinking.
The new ignition interlock devices make it much harder for you to drink and drive and to evade conviction. Even if you do figure out a way to drive while under the influence, you will be leaving behind hard evidence that can be used against you in court.
The best thing you can do to protect yourself, of course, is to never get behind the wheel of a car after you’ve been drinking. There are too many services now – Uber, Lyft, taxis, the bus – that make it easy for you to get the transportation you need. You don’t have to put yourself or others at risk by driving under the influence. However, since drinking also clouds your judgement, you still might end up with a DUI charge. If that’s the case, you must call one of the best DUI defense attorneys in Tucson you can find to defend you. Getting that first charge overturned or reduced can mean keeping an ignition interlock device off your vehicle, which will reduce the chances that you are charged or convicted later.
A DUI charge can follow you for years, making it hard for you to retain your driving privileges, to get a job, or even to rent an apartment or to hold a volunteer position. If you are arrested for DUI, you need to protect your future by working with the best DUI defense lawyer you can find. At My AZ Lawyers, our experienced DUI attorneys near Avondale are committed to protecting your rights and your future. Our DUI defense attorneys will explore every legal option for clearing your charges. When that’s not possible, they will fight to get your sentence reduced so that you’ll be able to start over sooner and get your life back. We serve clients throughout the Phoenix area, including Mesa, Glendale, and Tucson. Call us today to talk with one of our DUI lawyers in Glendale about your legal options.
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