In the United States, almost 30 people die everyday from car accidents caused directly by drunk driving. Drunk driving fatality rates have become so alarming that more states are joining Arizona in requiring mandatory installation of ignition interlock devices into vehicles of every convicted drunk driving offender. The ignition interlock device (IID) basically works like a Breathalyzer for your car.
The ignition interlock is just about the size of a cell phone and is placed on the car’s dashboard. Before the driver can start the engine, he or she must first exhale into the ignition interlock device. This gadget then analyzes the breath-alcohol concentration (BrAC) and calculates the equivalent blood alcohol concentration (BAC). Should the blood-alcohol concentration of the driver be higher than the legal breath-alcohol concentration limit, the ignition interlock will prevent the vehicle from starting.
As an extra security measure an ignition interlock will also require rolling breath tests even while the driver is using the car. If the blood-alcohol concentration of the driver is higher than the legal limit, the IID will sound an alarm will that will not stop until the driver manually stops the vehicle or until the driver submits another breath test that will pass the legal requirements of the ignition interlock. A failed rolling breath test will not turn off the engine while the vehicle is in motion. It will always give the driver the opportunity to safely stop the car.
To be eligible for installation of an ignition interlock, you must meet these mandated requirements:
You should be finished with your revocation/suspension before installation.
You must have completed your drug and alcohol screening assessment.
You MAY have to acquire an SR-22 Insurance Rider. This requirement varies from person to person.
You will be required to complete a traffic survival school course HOWEVER, this does not have to be completed before the interlock is installed but will be required by the participant.
Arizona is one of the 15 states in the USA that has laws requiring drivers who have had a history of driving under the influence, or a DUI conviction, to install an ignition interlock on their vehicles. In all 15 states, their laws require that drivers get their ignition interlock from providers that have been certified and qualified by the state.
Arizona requires these drivers to have an ignition interlock installed in all of their vehicles, even those that aren’t registered under their names, but are known to be often used by the offending driver. For first and second time offenders, the court will reprimand the driver to use an ignition interlock for at least 12 months.
All ignition interlock results shall be automatically sent to the Arizona Motor Vehicle Division. Failure to follow these protocols will lead to an extension and the driver will have to use the ignition interlock for a longer time.
Use of IID technology has not only saved lives across the nation, but it has also provided an opportunity for DUI offenders to earn back the right to drive while keeping the community they live in safe from preventable deaths.