Arizona drivers who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) may find more than a lump of coal in their Christmas stocking depending upon the nature of the circumstances surrounding their arrests. DUI penalties in Arizona can include monetary fines, sentences to serve time in the Maricopa County jail, a suspension or revocation of your driver's license, as well as other penalties.
During the DUI defense process, the specific penalties are worked out in each case. In Tempe, Phoenix or other communities in Maricopa County, it is important that you consult experienced Arizona DUI lawyers like those associated with the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. because ignition interlock devices (IID) can be part of the penalty for a DUI conviction.
An IID is essentially a breathalyzer that is mounted onto a vehicle's dashboard and electronically connected via a microchip to the vehicle's ignition. There are guidelines for the installation of such devices in Arizona. An IID is designed to measure the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of a driver before they may operate a motor vehicle. The process of using an IID is simple:
- A driver turns the vehicle ignition, but not the engine, to the on position and then blows into the dash-mounted device.
- The IID transmits a signal to the ignition chip which includes the BAC that was registered by the IID.
- The motor vehicle's engine will be started and the vehicle can be driven if the BAC is below a level that has been preset.
- The vehicle's ignition will locked and another test will be required if the BAC is above a level that has been preset in order to determine if the initial test was accurate before the vehicle's motor can be started.
Drivers who pass the initial IID BAC test are allowed to proceed on that particular journey. Those drivers will be required at random times, approximately every 15 minutes, to submit to additional tests. These rolling retests can be taken while the driver is operating the vehicle as it is a hands-free procedure. Should the rolling retest result in a BAC higher that the BAC level preset in the IID, the vehicle will not be stopped. However, various signals and alarms including the horn honking and the vehicle's lights flashing until the driver turns off the vehicle.
The requirement for an IID is not discretionary as state law makes them mandatory. Upon receipt of a of a guilty disposition to a first offense DUI with a BAC of 0.199 or less, the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) will require the installation of an IID for a period of up to 12 months. The sentence for a first DUI due to a BAC of 0.20 percent or higher will include a requirement to use the IID for a period of 18 months.
Second-offense DUI defendants with a BAC below 0.20 percent or DUI defendants convicted of a charge of extreme DUI face a sentence that will include a requirement to use an IID for a period of one year. Two-time DUI convictions based upon a BAC that is higher than 0.20 percent will face a sentence that includes a requirement to use an IID for a period of two years.
It is very important that driver's who are charged with DUI understand the laws of the state of Arizona and their rights. If you have been arrested for DUI and you are facing consequences that include a sentence in the county jail, monetary fines or the installation of an IID, it is important that your DUI legal situation should be handled by expert professionals with the experience possessed by the attorneys at the Law Offices of Craig W. Penrod, P.C. Our office offers free consultations for all DUI and criminal matters. Our Arizona DUI attorneys and Arizona criminal lawyers can provide you with the experience and knowledge needed for qualified representation. An experienced Arizona DUI lawyer is vital in DUI cases and our DUI attorneys set that standard. If you're in need of a criminal defense, our Arizona criminal attorneys are ready to assist you.