What is an Interlock Device?
An interlock device is basically a breathalyzer that is installed in a vehicle which prevents the ignition from operating unless a person with a zero BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) blows into the device.
Previous Interlock Device Law
The law requires that vehicle owners who have been convicted of a DUI charge have one of these devices installed in their motor vehicles in order to prevent them driving while they are intoxicated. However, there was one glaring problem with this law as anyone could blow into the device and not necessarily the driver of the vehicle.
This has allowed many drunk drivers to bypass the device and therefore the law and continue to drive while intoxicated presenting a hazard to the general public. With changing technology and an amendment to the existing law, it is now possible to ensure that the person blowing into the device is actually the driver of the vehicle.
New Arizona Interlock Device Law
As of 1 July 2018, the law requires that all interlocking devices must be equipped with a camera as well as a GPS tracking system. In addition, the device must allow for electronic and wireless reporting in real time. In effect, the camera photographs the person who is blowing into the device thereby ensuring that it is the actual driver of the vehicle.
The GPS tracking device will be able to monitor and assess the driving actions of a driver. Both the information from the camera and GPS can be recorded or streamed live in order to monitor drivers who have been legally mandated to have the device installed in their vehicle.
How Does This Affect Existing Interlock Devices?
Any vehicle that has already been fitted will not be required to upgrade to the new interlocking devices or that any changes be made to the existing device. The previously mandated device will stay in place until their sentence and MVD requirements have been fulfilled.
Further Interlock Device Requirements
Arizona law further requires that the driver of the vehicle pays for the installation of the device through an authorized dealer as well as the calibration and maintenance of the device to ensure that it is operating effectively. The device needs to be inspected to ensure that it is in good working order by a certified technician every 30 days for the first 3 months.
Depending on the sentence that has been handed down, the device may need to be installed anywhere from 6 months to two years. Current devices may also request rolling tests on a random basis while the vehicle is running. This is in an attempt to bypass the loophole that anyone can blow into the device.
Contravening any of the laws regarding the interlock device can carry severe penalties in Arizona. It is therefore highly recommended to contact a lawyer who is experienced in the law should you be charged with a DUI. Robert A. Dodell, Attorney at Law, can provide the best legal advice and representation regarding DUI and Interlock Device legislation.
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Scottsdale, AZ 85260