by Phoenix DUI attorney Christopher H. Ariano

In some cases a DUI charge can come with more than just the stress of fines and incarceration. It can come with an ignition interlock device that you put inside your motor vehicle. The device is mandatory in certain cases following a period of driver’s license suspension or revocation.1 The ignition interlock device must be installed by a Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) authorized company with proof of installation.2

Do I always need an ignition interlock device?

Not always. Arizona law does require you to install an ignition interlock if your driving privilege is restricted in some way after you were convicted of a DUI.3 You must also pay the costs and maintenance of the interlock device and provide proof of inspection of the device for accurate operation and results of the inspection to the department at least once every ninety (90) days during the period that you have to have the interlock device in your vehicle. A.R.S. § 28-1461(1)(b), (d). Any tampering with the device will be reported each time an installer gets information recorded by the certified ignition interlock and can result in an extension of required use. A.R.S. § 28-1461(B)(1).

The ignition interlock is installed into the dashboard of your vehicle. You breathe into the device and it will analyze whether or not you have alcohol on your breath before it will start the vehicle. If you do have alcohol in your system, the engine will not start.4

Does the law apply to motorcycles?

Yes. DUI laws apply to vehicles. Vehicles are defined as “a device in, on or by which a person or property is or may be transported or drawn on a public highway, excluding devices moved by human power or used exclusively on stationary rail tracks.” A.R.S. § 28-101(58). Generally, a motorcycle fits into this definition and thus the DUI laws apply to motorcycles. Further, Arizona law does define a “motor driven cycle” as a “motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor that produces not more than five horsepower.” A.R.S. § 28-101(32).

You are required to have a motorcycle license in order to drive a motorcycle, and if you are caught driving under the influence on a motorcycle you may lose both your vehicular driver’s license and motorcycle license.5 According to Arizona law, “license” means any  license or temporary instruction permit issued in Arizona or any other state pertaining to licensing people to operate motor vehicles. A.R.S. § 28-1301(6).

Ignition interlock devices can also be installed on motorcycles.6 Arizona law does require an ignition interlock to be installed on any  motor vehicle if your sentence requires such. A.R.S. §§ 28-1381(I)(6), 28-1382(D)(5). You need to install an ignition interlock on every vehicle that you operate, which includes motorcycles. A.R.S. § 28-1461.

[1] Driver Services, azdot.gov, http://azdot.gov/mvd/driver-services/ignition-interlock (last visited Dec. 22, 2014).

2 Id.

3 Id.

4 Id.

5 Shelly Wutke, Can You Get An Ignition Interlock Device Installed On Your Motorcycle, lifesafer.com (May 16, 2014), http://www.lifesafer.com/blog/can-get-ignition-interlock-device-installed-motorcycle/.

6 Motorcycle Ignition Interlock Devices, breathalyzerinterlocks.com, http://breathalyzerinterlocks.com/motorcycle-ignition-interlock-devices/ (last visited Dec. 23, 2014).