Arizona Interlock Devices: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an “Interlock” device?
    interlock arizona

    1. Under Arizona Law, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Department may require you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car. This will most likely be a stipulation of providing you with a Special Ignition Interlock Restricted Driver License (SIIRDL). The ignition interlock device is a breath alcohol analyzer that is directly connected to the ignition of a car OR a motorcycle. It is put in place to monitor and prevent the driver from operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
  2. How does an ignition interlock device (IID) work?
    1. Because the device is connected to a car’s ignition, the device will not allow the vehicle to be driven unless the driver can pass the device’s initial breath alcohol test. In addition, the device can require the driver to provide breath samples for “random rolling retests.” This is when the device requires additional testing after the car has been set in motion. The driver must then pull over and participate in another breath alcohol test. These additional tests are devised to discourage another individual from providing the original breath sample necessary to initially start the vehicle.
  3. Will anyone know if I do not pass the breath alcohol test on the IID?
    1. The device does keep track of all administered breath alcohol tests. The testing data is downloadable and printable to authorized court officials and it also may be required that the breath alcohol testing data be downloaded by these authorized officials at regular intervals. Additionally, there may be penalties for any attempt at tampering with the device, or for failed breath alcohol tests.
  4. What does an ignition interlock device mean for my life?
    1. Having an ignition interlock device will affect your life in several ways. First, there is a cost for the device that you will be responsible for. For 1-year of the ignition interlock device, with installation and monthly maintenance fees, it will end up costing you around $1000. Under the ignition interlock device program, Arizona law may require you to carry SR-22 Certification of high-risk automobile insurance, which can carry a higher premium. Finally, under the program, your driving will typically be restricted to certain routes, such as to and from your job, school, alcohol treatment programs, meetings with your probation officer, medical appointments and ignition interlock maintenance appointments.
  5. Can’t I just drive a car that does not have an interlock device in it?
    1. If you are caught driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock device, you will be charged with a crime. This is due to the fact that your driver’s license is a restricted license or a SIIRDL, and this special license must be used in accordance to Arizona law. Possible penalties for being caught driving a vehicle without an ignition interlock device can include further license suspensions and criminal charges. Furthermore, if you are caught driving impaired and currently hold a SIIRDL, you may be charged with a felony.