DUI With a Required Ignition Interlock Device: Aggravated DUI

aggravated dui with ignition interlock device

Being charged with a DUI can have serious consequences, but when a required Ignition Interlock Device is installed, it takes things to a whole new level.


In many states, including Arizona, drivers convicted of DUI offenses may be required to have an Ignition Interlock Device installed in their vehicle. This device prevents the car from starting if the driver's blood alcohol concentration is above a certain level.


When a DUI offense involves an Ignition Interlock Device, it is often considered an aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI can escalate the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony conviction, which can have long-lasting effects on a person's life.


Contact Kolsrud Law Offices today to discuss your aggravated DUI case and learn about the options available to you.

man using ignition interlock device

When Are You Required to Install an IID?

In Arizona, the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is mandated under specific DUI-related offenses as specified in ARS 28-3319. Here are the key statutes and the corresponding DUI charges that trigger an IID requirement:


  • ARS 28-1321 (General DUI Provisions): Applies generally to DUI offenses, requiring IID upon license reinstatement.
  • ARS 28-1381 (DUI; Alcohol, Drugs, Vapor Releasing Substances; Violation): Mandates an IID for all DUI convictions, including first offenses, for a minimum of 12 months.
  • ARS 28-1382 (Extreme DUI; Blood Alcohol Concentration of 0.15 to 0.19): Requires an IID for 18 months for high BAC levels.
  • ARS 28-1383 (Aggravated DUI): Imposes an IID for 24 months for aggravated circumstances such as third DUI offense within 7 years, DUI with a suspended license, or DUI with a minor under 15 in the vehicle.


The initiation of the IID installation depends on the completion of any court-ordered alcohol or drug screening, education, or treatment programs.

How Does an Ignition Interlock Device Work?

The IID has several key functions and features that are designed to ensure compliance with DUI sentencing:


1.) Breath Sample Requirement: Before the vehicle can start, the driver must blow into the IID. If the device detects alcohol above the programmed limit (usually set to 0.02% BAC), the vehicle will not start.


2.) Rolling Re-tests: To prevent someone other than the driver from providing a breath sample at startup, IIDs require re-tests at random intervals during a journey. If a re-test is failed or not taken, the device records the event, warns the driver, and sets off an alarm until the ignition is turned off or a clean breath sample is provided.


3.) Data Logging: Every breath test, both passed and failed, is logged by the device. This log can be accessed by law enforcement or other designated authorities to ensure compliance. Regular checks are often required, where the device must be taken to a service center for data download and calibration.


4.) Anti-Circumvention Features: Modern IIDs are equipped with features to detect and prevent attempts to bypass or trick the system, including temperature sensors to detect air samples from sources other than human breath, and cameras to confirm the identity of the person providing the sample.

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What are the Penalties for Tampering With an IID?

In Arizona, tampering with an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) involves various actions that can lead to severe legal consequences. The Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) detail specific behaviors that constitute violations related to IIDs. 


Specific Violations and Their Implications:


  1. Renting or Borrowing Vehicles: It is unlawful under ARS for anyone to rent, lease, or lend a motor vehicle not equipped with a certified IID to a person whose driving privileges are restricted due to DUI offenses unless in cases of substantial emergencies. Similarly, individuals with restricted driving privileges must notify the party from whom they are renting, leasing, or borrowing a vehicle about their IID requirements. 
  2. Misuse of the IID: During the period when an IID is required, the individual must not ask or allow another person to breathe into the IID to start the vehicle. This prevents circumvention of the device intended to ensure the driver is sober before and during vehicle operation. 
  3. Tampering and Circumvention: Directly tampering with, altering, or attempting to circumvent the operation of an IID is prohibited. This includes any efforts to remove or bypass the IID to start or operate the vehicle without providing a breath sample. 
  4. Operation Without an IID: Individuals required to have an IID must not operate any vehicle without a functioning certified IID. If the IID is removed by a service provider, the device's manufacturer must notify the department, which holds the driver accountable for maintaining a functioning IID in any vehicle they operate. 
  5. Compliance Failure: If an individual fails to provide evidence of a functioning certified IID within 72 hours of removal or deactivation, the Arizona Department of Transportation can suspend their specialized ignition interlock restricted driver license or privilege. 


Legal Consequences of Violations:

  • Any violation of these provisions is treated as a Class 1 misdemeanor, the most serious misdemeanor level, which may include penalties such as up to six months in jail, significant fines, and community restitution.
  • Additionally, for specific violations like tampering with the IID (Subsection E) or operating a vehicle without an IID when required (Subsection G), the duration for which the IID must be installed can be extended by up to one year by the department.
man preforming field sobriety tests for an aggravated dui

What is an Aggravated DUI Charge?

In Arizona, an aggravated DUI charge represents a serious elevation from standard DUI offenses. Under Arizona Revised Statutes (ARS) 28-1383, a person is guilty of aggravated driving or actual physical control while under the influence if they commit any of the following:


  1. License Suspensions: Driving under the influence while the person’s driver's license or driving privileges are suspended, canceled, revoked, or refused, or while any restriction related to previous DUI offenses under ARS 28-1381 or 28-1382 is placed on the driver’s license.

  2. Repeated Offenses: Committing a third or subsequent DUI violation within an 84-month (seven-year) period. This includes any combination of prior convictions under ARS 28-1381, 28-1382, or similar offenses in other jurisdictions that would be a violation if committed in Arizona.

  3. DUI with a Minor: Driving under the influence with a person under fifteen years of age in the vehicle.

  4. Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Requirement: Committing a DUI while required by the court or by the department (under section 28-3319) to equip any motor vehicle with a certified IID.

  5. Wrong Way on a Highway: Driving under the influence in the wrong direction on a highway.

What are the Penalties For a DUI with an IID

When a DUI offense involves an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), it is classified as a class 4 felony in Arizona.


  • Prison Time

    • A minimum of 120 days in prison is required, with the possibility of up to 3.75 years depending on additional factors such as previous offenses and the specific details of the current violation.

  • Fines

    •  Fines can reach up to $150,000, representing one of the steepest financial penalties in DUI law.

  • Probation

    • Up to 10 years of supervised probation may be imposed, allowing for ongoing monitoring and rehabilitation efforts.

  • License Suspension

    • A 3-year driver’s license suspension is mandatory, significantly restricting the individual's legal ability to drive.

  • Mandatory Treatment

    •  Engagement in alcohol abuse screening, education, treatment, or counseling is required, addressing substance abuse issues that contribute to DUI behavior.

Additionally, having prior felony convictions can significantly increase the severity of these penalties. A previous felony DUI conviction can elevate the charge to a Class 3 felony with an extended prison sentence, heavier fines, and longer probation periods.

How Can an Attorney Argue For My Defense?

In cases involving DUI charges, especially those classified as aggravated or involving an Ignition Interlock Device (IID), having a skilled defense attorney is crucial. An experienced lawyer can deploy several strategic defenses depending on the specifics of the case. Here are some common defense strategies that can be argued:


Inaccurate IID Readings

Sometimes, IIDs can malfunction or produce inaccurate results due to improper maintenance or calibration. Attorneys can challenge the reliability of the IID readings by requesting maintenance records or demonstrating inconsistencies in the device’s operation.

Questionable Legality of the Traffic Stop

A foundational defense in many DUI cases is questioning the legality of the initial traffic stop. If an attorney can prove that the stop was not based on reasonable suspicion, any evidence gathered as a result of the stop, including IID results, may be deemed inadmissible in court.


Improper Administration of Field Sobriety Tests

Field sobriety tests, often used before an arrest for DUI, must be administered under specific standardized conditions. Defense attorneys can argue that deviations from these standard procedures could affect the reliability of the results.


Violation of Constitutional Rights

Defense attorneys will also scrutinize the arrest process for any violation of constitutional rights, such as the failure to inform the defendant of their Miranda rights or unlawful search and seizure. Such violations can lead to suppression of evidence, potentially weakening the prosecution’s case.


Chain of Custody and Evidence Handling Issues

Issues in the chain of custody for blood alcohol content (BAC) samples or other critical evidence can be another focal point for defense. If an attorney can demonstrate that there were lapses in how evidence was handled or stored, the credibility of that evidence can be questioned.


Utilizing these defenses, among others, a defense attorney can provide a robust argument to challenge the charges against a defendant, potentially leading to reduced charges or even a dismissal, depending on the strength of the case.

Contact Kolsrud Law Offices

If you've been charged with an aggravated DUI involving an ignition interlock device, the consequences can be severe. Josh Kolsrud and his team of experienced defense attorneys at Kolsrud Law Offices are here to help. They will craft a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique situation.


He's taken on over 100 trials and handled more than 3,500 cases.


For more details on how Josh Kolsrud can assist with your case, or to schedule a free initial consultation, you can contact him directly at the Kolsrud Law Offices. He is available via phone at (602) 638-3790.

An award-winning criminal defense attorney Since 2006

Why Choose Josh Kolsrud

With over 100 trials to his name, and years of experience as a state and federal prosecutor, Josh understands the law, the legal process, and your rights. Josh is also committed to representing every client with utmost integrity and dedication



Josh has prosecuted major crimes on the state and federal level, led a successful anti-human sex trafficking operation that saved lives, and argued before countless juries and justices for his clients



Josh is an expert in both Arizona and federal criminal law, and is ready to put that expertise to work for you.



As a prosecutor, Josh saw far too many defendants lose their livelihood due to poor representation. Josh will always give every client his complete attention and effort

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