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What is the Arizona Certified Ignition Interlock Program?

Some people who have been convicted of charges that lead to a revocation or suspension of a drivers' license must have an ignition interlock device installed on vehicles they drive prior to obtaining a restricted license. In some cases, the ignition interlock device order will come after a license has already been reinstated, notes the Arizona Department of Transportation.

When do I have to have the device installed?

If you get a notification that you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed, you have 30 days to have the installation completed by a certified company. You must bring proof of that to the AZDOT prior to the end of that 30-day period.

Why do I have to have the device installed?

Ignition interlock devices help to reduce the rate of driving after drinking. According to the International Council on Alcohol, Drugs, and Traffic Safety, the reduction rate of repeat drunk driving offenses is around 40 to 95 percent. The ignition interlock device is used as part of a comprehensive service and monitoring program.

How does it work?

The ignition interlock device is wired to the vehicle. In order to start the vehicle, you have to provide a breath sample. If the sample is within the acceptable limits, the car will start. If the sample has an alcohol content that is too high, the vehicle won't start. Random samples are required while the vehicle is running.

While this program might seem like a hardship for drivers, it is part of the penalties associated with drunk driving convictions. If you are facing a drunk driving charge, you should understand all possible penalties that you face.

Source: Arizona Department of Transportation, "Driver Services: Ignition Interlock," accessed April. 30, 2015

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