If you are convicted of drunk driving in Arizona, you’ll be installing an ignition interlock in your vehicle. An ignition interlock, or car breathalyzer, prevents you from starting a vehicle if you have been drinking. You’ll need an ignition interlock in Arizona for any drunk driving offense, including a first offense.
But what if you have to drive a company vehicle – say, make deliveries, haul material, or ferry passengers for work? Can you still do it if your employer’s car or truck does not have an ignition interlock installed?
The answer is no. A few years ago it was permissible to drive the company car. There was something called an employer exemption which permitted you to drive a vehicle on the job if the employer signed off on it.
However, in 2013 that exemption was repealed. It is now against the law for a driver with an interlock requirement to get behind the wheel of any vehicle that is not equipped with an interlock.
That’s a tough situation. It goes without saying that many people convicted of DUI lose their jobs because the can no longer drive at their workplace.
Offenders in this position have one possibility. One can arrange for an employer’s vehicle to have an ignition interlock installed. An understanding employer might agree to do so. In fact, some employers are installing the devices in all their vehicles to protect them against legal action instigated when an employee drinks and drives.
In general, though, prepare for a rough time if you use an ignition interlock in Arizona and need to drive an employer’s car. The lack of employer exemption is why, even more than in other states, an Arizona DUI is a life-changing burden.