Ignition Interlock Device Violations

Phoenix Lawyer Representing People Charged with Drunk Driving

Persons convicted of a DUI involving alcohol may need to install an ignition interlock device on their car. The ignition interlock device is designed to deter to those with drunk driving convictions from repeating their offense. Unfortunately, when people fail to install an ignition interlock device after being required to do so, they can face further criminal charges for their ignition interlock device violations. If you asked a friend to breathe into your ignition interlock device or borrowed a car without informing the vehicle owner of your restricted driving status, you should consult with Phoenix DUI attorney James E. Novak. As a former prosecutor, he now defends those accused of crimes, including DUI, by channeling his insights and experience from working in the criminal justice system.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device?

Ignition interlock devices are breathalyzers attached to motor vehicles. Before starting the car, drivers are required to blow into the device to measure their blood alcohol content. If there’s any alcohol above a certain amount in your system, they will fail the test and won’t be able to start or operate their car. Additionally, the device will generate a report of the instances in which the test was failed. If the device sends them to a probation officer and the court, the drivers may face further penalties.

If you are ordered to install an ignition interlock device, you will need to pay for the device at your own cost. This adds to the costs of a DUI conviction. Additionally, you need to submit to periodic inspections to show you’re in compliance and that your ignition interlock device is functional and certified. In Arizona, an ignition interlock device must be based on a specific electrochemical fuel sensor technology.

Ignition Interlock Device Violations

If you drive without an ignition interlock device when you’ve been ordered to install one, you may violate one of the provisions of Arizona Revised Statute section 28-1464, which covers the ignition interlock device requirement. For instance, others aren’t allowed to rent or lend you a car without an ignition interlock device installed except in a “substantial emergency.” To qualify for this exception, there must be an emergency with no one else reasonably available to drive in response to that emergency. A lawyer can review the circumstances and evaluate whether this defense may be appropriately raised in your situation.

If you’re limited to driving with an ignition interlock device and you borrow or rent a car from another, you must let that person know you have specific requirements for operating a motor vehicle and the nature of the requirements. Additionally, you can’t ask someone else to blow into the device so that you can illicitly operate your vehicle. If you do this, both you and that person could face criminal charges. A violation is also committed if you or someone else tampers with the ignition interlock device to circumvent its proper functioning.


You can face a Class 1 misdemeanor charge for an ignition interlock device violation if you operated a vehicle without such a device. The potential sentence is a maximum of 6 months in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. Besides increasing your fines or term of imprisonment, the court may also extend the period in which you need to use the device for up to a year. For instance, suppose that a court required you to use an ignition interlock device and restricted your driving privilege. If you tampered with the ignition interlock device, the court can require you to keep the device for a year with all the same restrictions in addition to you spending time in jail and paying a fine.

Call a Phoenix Attorney for a Consultation

People facing ignition interlock device violations should meet with an experienced lawyer. Our principal James Novak has years of experience fighting for those accused of crimes in and around Phoenix including in Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Call him at (480) 413-1499 or contact him through our online form.

Client Reviews
I was facing criminal charges with three priors in my history. Mr Novak was very helpful and got me a lighter sentence than I probably deserved. He is a great attorney and I would highly recommend him. A. T.
James worked tirelessly behind the scenes with the prosecution, to decrease my son’s charges to a more reasonable penalty. I could not have asked for a better, more professional attorney. He treated my son with the utmost respect and walked him through every step of a very difficult situation. S. G.
Attorney Novak did an outstanding job defending my son. Due to his extensive professional background within the court system, he was successfully able to defend my son during a very difficult time for my family. I highly recommend Attorney James Novak for your legal needs. T. G.