Years ago, Arizona increased the mandatory penalties for DUI offenses by requiring people convicted of DUI, Extreme DUI or Super Extreme DUI to place a certified ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Upon a conviction for violating A.R.S. 28-1381A1 or DUI by Impaired to the Slightest Degree, A.R.S. 28-1381A2, the .08 DUI or Extreme/Super Extreme DUI, Arizona Law provides:
"If the violation involved intoxicating liquor, shall be required by the department, on report of the conviction, to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device pursuant to section 28-3319. In addition, the court may order the person to equip any motor vehicle the person operates with a certified ignition interlock device for more than twelve months beginning on the date of reinstatement of the person's driving privilege following a suspension or revocation or on the date of the department's receipt of the report of conviction, whichever occurs later. The person who operates a motor vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device under this paragraph shall comply with article 5 of this chapter."
The purpose of the interlock is deter drivers from operating a motor vehicle with alcohol in their system. Unfortunately, the interlock is also costly and may prove embarrassing to people who are required to drive for business purposes or chauffeur passengers for one reason or another. The law does provide a way to get a reduction of six months off of the interlock period. To get the six month deferment:
1. The person must be sentenced pursuant to section 28-1381, subsection I.
2. The person must successfully complete an alcohol education program consisting of at least sixteen hours pursuant to section 28-1381.
3. The person must maintain a functioning ignition interlock device on all motor vehicles the person operates and meet the requirements of section 28-1461.
4. The person must not attempt to operate a vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more two or more times during the period of license restriction or limitation.
5. At the time of the offense, the person was not involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in physical injury or property damage.
6. All necessary compliance information must be provided to the department by the ignition interlock device provider, the alcohol screening program and the alcohol education program.
If you are required to operate a vehicle with a certified ignition interlock device due to a DUI conviction in Arizona, you should contact the Motor Vehicle Division and see of you may be eligible for a deferment of six months.