Regular readers of our Arizona DUI defense blog know that the penalties for a drunk driving conviction in our state are among the very toughest in the nation. Sentences for a first offense include a minimum of 24 hours in jail up to 10 days behind bars. You will also be required to pay a fine of at least $250 and your driver’s license will be suspended from 90 to 360 days.
A first Arizona DUI offense will also mean that you are required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle at your expense. A recent investigative report on ignition interlocks casts serious doubt on whether the devices make motorists safer or less safe, however.
As you might know, ignition interlocks require drivers to blow into the devices before the vehicle can be started and driven. If the device (basically a personal Breathalyzer) detects an unacceptably high level of alcohol in your breath, the vehicle will not start.
If you’re allowed to start your car, you will receive periodic, random signals from the device that you need to perform what is called “a rolling retest.” In other words, you have to blow into the device again so that it can once again analyze your breath for an impermissible level of alcohol.
The problem with rolling retests is that drivers’ attention is shifted from their most important task (navigating streets and traffic safely) to the gadget demanding another breath sample. Note: if a driver ignores the interlock devices demand for a retest, the vehicle will go into “panic” mode with lights flashing and horn blaring until the driver pulls over and shuts the car down.
The distraction of a rolling retest can lead to driver inattention that results in motor vehicle crashes and injuries to not only the driver of the interlock-equipped vehicle, but to other motorists as well.
If you have been charged with drunk driving, get the legal help you need from a Scottsdale attorney experienced in effective DUI defense.