I Had a DUI, but why is the MVD Forcing Me to Keep an Ignition Interlock for a Second Year?When you are charged with DUI, you face two complex legal battles. The first is with the criminal courts and involves the harsh reality of mandatory jail time and thousands of dollars in fines, assessments and jail costs. The second battle is with the Motor Vehicle Division (“MVD”) and involves suspension or revocation, traffic survival school, and the ignition interlock. As an Arizona attorney with an active DUI caseload, I respond to several questions each week regarding MVD policies and procedures.
A first time DUI usually results in a ninety-day suspension of your driver’s license. A second DUI (or refusing to take a chemical test) will result in a one-year revocation. The key difference between a suspension and a revocation is what happens once the designated number of months has elapsed. If MVD has imposed a ninety-day suspension, on day ninety-one a driver can guarantee the immediate reinstatement of a license by simply paying the required fee. Revocations, however, are not so easy. If your license has been revoked, then you must submit a Revocation Packet. Not only does the Revocation Packet require a person to expend hours obtaining signatures from the court and a medical professional, but MVD will (in its classic, unhurried pace) take six to eight weeks to consider each Packet submitted.
Historically, if your license had been revoked then you could not drive at all for one full year plus any delay that transpired while MVD considered your Revocation Packet. Obviously, the inability to drive for a year (or more) created serious emotional and financial distress for all involved. Thus, a few years ago, state lawmakers sought to reduce that stress by utilizing known ignition interlock technology. By agreeing to install an ignition interlock device after forty-five days of no driving, Arizona Revised Statute §#28-1401 permits you to obtain a restricted license and drive to and from work during the rest of your revocation period.
Obviously, my clients whose licenses have been revoked by MVD are ecstatic when they can start driving again. What they need to be reminded, however, is that using the ignition interlock during the revocation period does not reduce the amount of time that an ignition interlock must remain in place after the revocation period has ended. These clients often call and demand we sue MVD because they (and no other person on the planet) have been improperly singled out for additional and unnecessary interlock time. Repeatedly, these clients are dismayed when I remind them that MVD treats all revoked drivers exactly the same. Arizona statutes are clear: “The granting of a special ignition interlock restricted driver license does not reduce or eliminate the required use of an ignition interlock device pursuant to A.R.S. §#28-3319.” A.R.S. §#28-1401(E) (emphasis added.)
There are many reasons why the MVD may seek to extend the use of an ignition interlock device after your DUI. I have vast experience in helping clients understand and navigate the complex maze of statues and administrative codes that govern MVD. If you think MVD is treating you unfairly after your DUI, please call me at (480) 833-2341.
You may visit the Arizona MVD’s revocation link to learn more about reinstatement.
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