There are occasions where someone may have gone through their license suspension for being suspected of DUI. Usually, it is a ninety-day license suspension where there is a possibility of the first thirty days being no driving at all and the next sixty where someone could get a restricted license. If at the end of those initial ninety days where the license is suspended for being suspected of DUI, the case has not yet resolved, the person may end up going into the Motor Vehicle Division and paying to reinstate their license to drive. Hence, the license goes back to a full suspension upon the completion of the ninety days.
If later the case gets resolved with some sort of a DUI conviction, a person would be required to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operate and they would be sent a letter in the mail telling the person that they need to install the ignition interlock device; otherwise their license will be cancelled. They will have a certain amount of time where they can get an ignition interlock device, they will need to install it and then they would need to go back into the Motor Vehicle Division with proof that it has been installed and get themselves an ignition interlock device driver’s license.
It is a license that looks just like a normal Arizona driver’s license but it does say, “Ignition interlock device on it”. There is a statement there indicating that an ignition interlock device is required.
What Happens If Someone Is Caught Driving A Vehicle Without An Interlock Device Installed When One Is Required?
There is an exception if there is an emergency situation! A person is allowed in an emergency situation to operate a vehicle without an ignition interlock device even if they are required to have an ignition interlock device. My review of the statutes also indicates that it can technically get you out of a DUI if it was an emergency situation when the charge is an ignition interlock device aggravated DUI. The problem becomes if someone is operating a vehicle and is required to have an ignition interlock device and they get a DUI that is then a Class 4 felony.
It is a bit of an odd Class 4 felony because when the legislature decided that this was going to be an offense about six years ago, they did not put it in the same realm as other aggravated DUIs. There are technically no minimum sentence requirements unlike normal Class 4 DUIs. Technically being convicted of a Class 4 aggravated DUI with an ignition interlock device requirement has a sentencing range of zero days in jail up to three and three quarter years in prison. Realistically, a person is not going to get zero days in jail but, the law allows for such a sentence to take place.
When we are talking about ignition interlock device aggravated DUIs, it is not required that the person have an ignition interlock device or not have the device. In order to get charged with an aggravated DUI ignition interlock device requirement, i does not matter if the person had one installed or did not have one installed, nonetheless, if they are arrested for a DUI, they are still going to be facing a Class 4 felony for being required to have an ignition interlock device on their vehicle while driving while under the influence.
What Happens If Someone Is Required To Install An Ignition Interlock Device And They Don’t Own A Car?
It can be a problem, especially now that ignition interlock devices can mean something other than just a requirement. If someone is convicted of an alcohol DUI, nearly every court, at least in Maricopa County, does have the ability to reduce down a sentence. Sometimes substantially for agreeing to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operate. The situation comes up where sometimes people do not have vehicles, they lost them because of an accident or they cannot afford one now because they were charged with a DUI, they have to sell it to afford their attorney’s fees. In theory, those people are out of luck and they do not get the benefit of getting a big chunk of the time of their sentence dismissed for having an ignition interlock device on their vehicle because they do not have a vehicle.
In a way it can appear as if they are punishing indigent or poor people because they do not get the same privileges that a rich person might get. In reality, it is meant to be a benefit to people but there are certain people that can be excluded from that benefit because they cannot afford one. I have seen once where the argument was presented to the judge that the person had no intention of driving, that they no longer owned a vehicle and so, technically, they are complying with the law which says that a person needs to install an ignition interlock device on any vehicle they operate for one year to get a big chunk of their jail time reduced.
The argument was, “I am installing it on any vehicle I operate but I’m not going to be operating the vehicle for one year, so therefore I am complying with the law”. That judge, in one instance, was willing to apply the ignition interlock device law in order to get a big chunk of time deleted. At the end of that one year, the way that I would handle it and I am not sure how the attorney who was handling the cases planning on handling it, but I would get a certified record from the Motor Vehicle Division showing that my client had not been pulled over, not been cited or found responsible for any type of traffic citation or a traffic related crime.
If you take an outside the box view of that law, it is possible to apply to those whom technically it cannot apply to if they do not have a car.
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