Posted: Dec 26, 2011 8:48 AM
In Arizona, lawmakers passed legislation requiring repeat offenders to install ignition-interlock devices in 2001. In 2007, they began requiring first-time offenders to have the devices.
To comply with the requirement, drivers must pay a provider to install the device and pay a monthly maintenance fee.
The devices cost about $120 to install and about $80 a month to maintain, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Sen. Linda Gray of Glendale has led the effort to toughen Arizona's DUI laws for more than a decade and proposed changing the interlock device requirement to six months.
Gray has said that she believes six months is long enough to teach first-time offenders a lesson, particularly such an expensive one.
Kelley Dupps, program specialist with Mothers Against Drunk Driving's Arizona chapter, said that her group opposes the latest change to Arizona's DUI laws and that they'll be watching to see if DUI fatalities increase as a result.
Arizona's DUI fatalities have decreased since requiring first-time offenders to install interlocks, dropping to 210 in 2010 from 399 in 2006.
Dupps said that if her group sees a spike in deaths or in repeat offenders next year, they will ask the Legislature to consider returning to the tougher penalty.
“We want to create the safest roads possible,” she said. “One death from DUI is one too many.”