Ignition Interlock Laws in Arizona: A Comprehensive Overview

Ignition interlock devices have become a crucial tool in combating drunk driving across the United States. Arizona, in particular, has taken significant steps to implement these devices as part of their effort to reduce the number of alcohol-related accidents on the road. The state has enacted legislation requiring ignition interlock devices for all drivers convicted of driving under the influence, making it one of the first states to adopt such strict measures.

Arizona’s Certified Ignition Interlock Program aims to improve road safety by ensuring that those with a history of drunk driving are unable to operate their vehicles while intoxicated. The program requires drivers to install an interlock device in their car, which prevents the vehicle from starting unless the driver is able to provide a breath sample with an alcohol content below the preset limit. This system has been credited with reducing recidivism rates among those with prior DUI convictions and helping to create a safer environment for motorists across the state.

Various studies have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of ignition interlock devices in lowering the number of alcohol-involved accidents. The positive impact observed in states such as Arizona has also led to the implementation of similar laws in other states across the country. As more states continue to adopt this technology, it is expected that ignition interlock laws will play an increasingly significant role in curbing drunk driving incidents nationwide.

Overview of Ignition Interlock Laws

Purpose of the Law

Ignition interlock laws were introduced in Arizona to minimize cases of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and help maintain public safety. These laws require individuals convicted of DUI offenses to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. The laws aim not only to discourage repeat offenses, but also to encourage responsible behavior among drivers.

Devices and Technology

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has consumed alcohol. The driver must blow into the device, which then measures the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the BAC is above the predetermined threshold, the device prevents the vehicle from being started.

Some devices are equipped with additional features such as:

  • Camera: Verifying the driver’s identity and preventing unauthorized individuals from starting the car.
  • GPS Tracking: Monitoring the vehicle’s location, ensuring the driver complies with restrictions imposed by the court.
  • Data Logging: Recording the driver’s BAC levels and the number of failed attempts to help monitor compliance during the review process.

The effectiveness of ignition interlock devices in promoting public safety has been demonstrated in several studies, such as this research and another study showing a reduction in alcohol-involved crash deaths in various states, including Arizona.

Requirements and Installation

Eligibility for Installation

In Arizona, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are required for individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) offenses, including first-time offenders. The IID requirement is in place to prevent repeat offenses and encourage safer road practices. In 2007, Arizona became one of the first states to require ignition interlocks for all DUI offenders, including those convicted for the first time source.

Installation Process

To comply with Arizona’s ignition interlock laws, DUI offenders need to find a state-certified ignition interlock provider. The provider ensures that the device is correctly installed and functioning. Offenders must maintain the IID for the duration of the court-ordered period, typically for twelve months. During this time, they must bring their vehicle for mandatory servicing and calibration every 90 days.

It is worth noting that circumventing the IID by driving another vehicle without the device or tampering with the IID is a criminal offense and can lead to additional penalties or a longer period of IID requirements.

Costs and Fees

While the costs of the IID can vary depending on the provider, the offender is typically responsible for the costs associated with the device. This includes:

  • An installation fee, usually ranging from $50 to $150
  • A monthly lease or monitoring fee, typically between $60 and $90
  • Periodic maintenance and calibration fees, which can vary based on provider

It is important that the DUI offender fully understands the financial responsibility associated with ignition interlock installation and maintenance to ensure compliance throughout the required period.

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Monitoring and Maintenance

Regular Inspections

In Arizona, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) require regular inspections to ensure proper functioning and compliance with the law. Offenders are responsible for the costs of these inspections, which are conducted by private vendors providing the interlock service programs1. By keeping up with regular inspections, offenders can demonstrate their commitment to safe driving and comply with the state’s ignition interlock laws.

Device Violations

Failing a breath test or circumventing an IID can lead to device violations which may result in additional penalties for the offenders2. These penalties may include an extension of the interlock requirement, fines, or even jail time, depending on the severity of the violation. Arizona’s monitoring system helps keep drivers accountable and encourages them to comply with the ignition interlock program requirements3.

Device Removal

Once an offender has successfully completed their ignition interlock program in Arizona, they can apply for the device to be removed from their vehicle. This process usually involves obtaining approval from the state’s monitoring agency and paying any outstanding fees related to the program4. After proper approval is received, the interlock service provider will remove and deactivate the IID, allowing the driver to operate their vehicle without any restrictions in the state5.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

First Offense

If a driver in Arizona is convicted of a DUI for the first time, they are required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Non-compliance with this order can lead to significant consequences. For instance, a driver who does not install the required device may face a license suspension for an additional period, beyond the original suspension time. In some cases, vehicle impoundment may also occur. It is crucial for drivers to comply with the court’s order and install the ignition interlock device to avoid these penalties and ensure their driving privileges are restored.

Subsequent Offenses

For drivers with repeated DUI convictions in Arizona, the penalties for non-compliance with ignition interlock requirements become more severe. Just like with the first offense, failure to install the device may result in an extended license suspension and possible vehicle impoundment. However, the duration of the extended suspension and the likelihood of impoundment increase with each subsequent offense.

Moreover, offenders may face additional fines and possible jail time for non-compliance in more severe cases. It’s essential for drivers with multiple DUI convictions to understand the gravity of their situation and adhere to the mandated ignition interlock program guidelines to avoid further legal consequences and increased penalties.

Overall, non-compliance with Arizona ignition interlock laws can lead to severe consequences for both first-time and repeat offenders. To avoid facing extended license suspensions, fines, jail time, or vehicle impoundment, it’s critical for drivers to comply with the ignition interlock requirements and complete the program as mandated by the courts.

Resources and Assistance

Arizona Department of Transportation

The Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) plays a vital role in implementing and regulating ignition interlock laws in the state. They provide resources and assistance to both individuals required to install an ignition interlock device and certified providers of such devices. ADOT ensures that ignition interlock programs in Arizona promote compliance with state laws and prioritize public safety.

Apart from overseeing the ignition interlock laws, ADOT also works to improve the efficiency of customer service and streamline processes for individuals needing to install ignition interlock devices.

Certified Ignition Interlock Providers

In Arizona, ignition interlock service providers must be certified to ensure they meet the required standards for installation, maintenance, and monitoring of devices. These providers are responsible for installing ignition interlock devices for those convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and ensuring these devices operate efficiently.

There may be limited options for ignition interlock service providers in rural areas of Arizona, as mentioned in a study on rural Arizona judges’ perceptions. However, approved providers are readily available in major cities and metropolitan areas throughout the state.

When selecting a certified ignition interlock provider, it’s essential to choose one that adheres to Arizona state requirements and offers quality customer service. The providers are responsible for maintenance, calibration, and the submission of compliance reports to ADOT, which is important for individuals to complete their program successfully.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of an interlock device in Arizona?

The cost of an ignition interlock device in Arizona varies depending on the provider, but it typically ranges from $70 to $100 for installation and around $60 to $80 per month for monitoring and calibration. This does not include any additional fees, such as a refundable deposit or removal fees. Pricing can be found on MVD’s Frequently Asked Questions page.

How can one apply for an exemption for an ignition interlock device in AZ?

To apply for an exemption for an ignition interlock device in Arizona, you will need to submit a written request to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) along with any necessary documentation to support your claim for exemption. Exemptions are typically granted in cases of financial hardship or medical conditions. Further information about applying for exemptions can be found on the ADOT website.

What are the requirements for early removal of an interlock device in Arizona?

To be eligible for early removal of an interlock device in Arizona, you must have completed at least 50% of your required interlock period, have no violations, and have no pending DUI charges. The criteria for early removal can be found on the ADOT website.

Are cameras required for interlock devices in Arizona?

As of January 1, 2012, Arizona requires all ignition interlock devices to be equipped with a camera in order to capture an image of the driver providing the breath sample. This requirement is to ensure compliance and deter attempts to bypass the interlock system by having another person provide a breath sample.

What is the allowed BAC limit for an intoxalock device in AZ?

In Arizona, the allowed BAC limit for an ignition interlock device is set at 0.02% or lower. A failed BAC test means the interlock device will prevent the vehicle from starting.

How many interlock violations are permitted in Arizona?

In Arizona, any violations during the mandatory ignition interlock period will result in an extension of the interlock requirement. A first violation extends the requirement by 6 months, a second violation by 12 months, and a third or subsequent violation by 24 months. Violations include a failed BAC test, missing a required service appointment, or tampering with the device.


  1. https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/60975

  2. https://www.nhtsa.gov/sites/nhtsa.gov/files/812026-ignitioninterlockinvestigation-traffictech.pdf

  3. https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/2000

  4. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Paul-Marques/publication/230726366_Interlock_BAC_tests_alcohol_biomarkers_and_motivational_interviewing_Methods_for_detecting_and_changing_high-risk_offenders/links/0912f50e70843cf95f000000/Interlock-BAC-tests-alcohol-biomarkers-and-motivational-interviewing-Methods-for-detecting-and-changing-high-risk-offenders.pdf

  5. https://rosap.ntl.bts.gov/view/dot/1990

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