What is a Breathalyzer?
When police officers suspect a driver is under the influence, they are allowed to request the driver to comply with a variety of field sobriety tests. If you are asked to provide a breath or blood sample, you have the option to refuse the test. You might think that is the end of the questioning, but the officer is allowed and will request a warrant to perform the test on you, even after you refuse the original request. Many people refuse so it buys them more time while the officer requests the warrant. There are Judges that work on those requests 24 hours a day so although the refusal does buy you a small amount of time, maybe 20 minutes or so to let the alcohol level drop, it also has consequences on your driver’s license. If you refuse a test the officer has the right to immediately confiscate your license and your license will be suspended for 12 months for the refusal alone.
Agree or Refuse the Test
If you agree to the test and you are found to have anything in your breath or blood you can receive a suspension anywhere from 90 days to 1 year. You will also be required to pay a fine to the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) to reinstate your license when the time comes. You will be required to install a mobile breathalyzer called an ignition interlock device once the initial license suspension time has passed.
Ignition Interlock Device
When you receive a DUI in Arizona, one of the stipulations that are always required when convicted is to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for a period of at least 12 months. This is a machine that you blow into and it reads the alcohol concentration from the breath vapor. These machines have been used since Robert F. Borkenstein invented the first breathalyzer model in the early 1950s. The machine has advanced over the years with technology and is now available in a portable form. Police officers usually carry the machine in their cars to administer when they suspect drunk driving.
Who Installs the Interlock Device?
Arizona has many companies they contract with that you can contact to install and monitor the device. The company will need to check the device every month or so to make sure it is in good working order. The device is enabled so that you must blow into the mouthpiece of the machine, if you have any alcohol in your system your vehicle won’t start. Some people think they have outsmarted the machine and will have a sober friend blow into the machine to get the car started. The companies have outsmarted them though and the machine will request the driver to blow into the machine sporadically during the drive which is referred to as a rolling test. If the driver fails the test, the car does not shut off, but it will start warning the driver to pull over by forcing the car to honk or flash the headlights. The test results are logged and saved in the machine. Every month when the company performs the calibration and maintenance, they will also get copies of the results from each test, if you have violated the alcohol amount or have failed 3 or more of the rolling tests consecutively.
Throughout the monitoring, the court that convicted the person of the DUI will request the updated reports and results to be submitted every 90 days. If the tests were not submitted or the driver failed tests the court can extend the period of time the interlock is required. The companies also look for any evidence of tampering with their machines. If there is any sign of tampering or damage to the machine that is reported as a violation of the court order and is counted against the person.
The interlock is given so that people that get DUIs can continue to drive for important life events such as work, school, doctor appointments, and drug/alcohol recovery classes. When you have an interlock device it is best to comply with all of the rules, so you can get your license back as soon as possible.
Click here for information on unreasonable search and seizure in relation to an Arizona DUI.
FAQs on Arizona Breathalyzer Laws
Is Arizona an Implied Consent State?
Yes, Arizona is an implied consent state. This means that if you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence, you must provide a chemical test sample to the police officer or face license suspension.
What are the rules for interlock devices in Arizona?
If you are convicted of DUI in Arizona, the court may require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle as part of your probation. The IID requires you to blow into a breathalyzer-like tube and pass a BAC test in order to start your car. Depending on the severity of the offense, you may be required to keep an interlock device installed in your car for between 12 and 24 months.
Can you get a DUI under .08 in Arizona?
Yes, in Arizona you can be charged with a DUI even if your BAC is lower than .08 depending on the circumstances. If the arresting officer believes that your ability to drive was impaired due to drugs or alcohol, you could still be charged with a DUI.
Is Arizona a zero-tolerance state?
No, Arizona is not a zero-tolerance state but does have Zero Tolerance Laws for underage drivers. Underage drivers who are found operating a vehicle with any measurable amount of alcohol in their system may be charged with a DUI and face stiff penalties.
How many fails can you get interlocked in Arizona?
The number of failed tests you are allowed depends on the terms of your probation. Generally, if you fail three consecutive tests you will be in violation of your probation.
What is the failed test for Intoxalock in Arizona?
Any test result with a BAC reading of .08 or higher will be considered a failed test for Intoxalock in Arizona.
Can you refuse a breathalyzer in Arizona?
No, refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test in Arizona is considered an implied consent violation and could result in license suspension.
Is 2 beers enough to get a DUI?
It depends on how much you weigh and how quickly you consume the beer, but two or more beers consumed within a short period of time could increase your BAC level enough to get you charged with a DUI. It is best to err on the side of caution and never drink and drive.
Is Arizona a “use it or lose it” state?
No, Arizona is not considered a “use it or lose it” state when it comes to drinking and driving laws. All drivers in Arizona must abide by the legal limits set forth by law regardless of how long they have been drinking or what their past drinking habits have been.
How many beers is 0.08 BAC?
It varies depending on a person’s weight, gender, and how quickly they consume alcohol, but as an estimate, .08 BAC is typically reached after 4 drinks for men and 3 drinks for women over the course of 1 hour.
Can a DUI be dismissed in AZ?
Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, it is possible to have your DUI charge dismissed in Arizona with the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How many beers is a DUI in AZ?
There is no specific number of beers that equals a DUI charge in Arizona as different individuals process alcohol differently. However, any amount over .08 BAC will result in a DUI charge regardless of how many beers were consumed.