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Jail Time Reduction Without an Ignition Interlock

 Posted on December 23, 2022 in DUI

Arizona DUI LawyerArizona requires someone convicted of a ”Super Extreme” DUI (driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while having an alcohol concentration over .20) to serve 45 days in jail. The law also permits the court to suspend[1] all but 14 days if someone installs an ignition interlock device in any vehicle that they drive.

Many plea agreements, both in felony cases as well as misdemeanors, require that someone put an ignition interlock on a vehicle to reduce the time the person spends in jail. Previously, some courts read this to mean if you did not have a car you had to do more jail time than someone who had a car and who could install an ignition interlock device.  This also meant someone would be required to get a car and have an ignition interlock installed if they hoped to have reduced jail time.

Recently, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that this interpretation was incorrect.  In State v. Kara Anne Stowe, the Court found that jail time could be reduced even without the installation of the ignition interlock device for a defendant who did not own a car and did not drive during the one year following their sentence.  In other words, there is no longer a requirement that someone go out and buy a car and equip it with an interlock device to receive the jail time reduction.  Now, the interlock only needs to be installed if that person is driving during the one-year period.

This is a huge change and benefit to those who do not plan to drive during this time, or who do not own a vehicle.  Previously, these people would have had to either spend significantly more time in jail or buy a car just to put the device on to reduce jail.

Now it is important to remember that the requirement for the ignition interlock from the Motor Vehicles Department is still in effect for whenever the person starts driving again.

What this means is that you cannot simply not drive for a year to avoid the ignition interlock. The requirement will exist from the Motor Vehicles Department until the requirement is completed.

MVD rules are complicated, and often change.  Any citizen accused of a DUI needs a lawyer who understands the MVD consequences that client is potentially facing.  Call the lawyers at The Behan Law Group for more information on changes to the MVD law.  Call 520-220-5047 and let Miss DUI Arizona fight for you, too.


[1] Jail time can be suspended, which means it does not have to be served unless the Court orders it to be served for a violation of the sentence.

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