If you are convicted of a DUI offense in Michigan, you might be required to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.
This can be costly and complicated – and it can lead to further legal headaches.
An ignition interlock in Michigan is an electronic device installed on your car to prevent it from starting until you take a breath test. Unless your test shows a breath alcohol content of 0.025 or lower, your car will not start. You may also be required to take a “rolling re-test” to ensure that no one blew into the device for you to start the vehicle.
Under Michigan law, an ignition interlock device can be required for:
- Habitual OWI offenders. You are classified as a habitual offender if you have had two or more convictions for OWI in seven years or three or more convictions in 10 years. After your conviction, your driver’s license will be revoked, but you will be eligible to appeal the revocation after a minimum period. If you appeal, you may get a restricted license on the condition that you install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) on your vehicle.
- First-time offenders with a high BAC. In 2010, Michigan toughened its drunk-driving laws by creating a new category of high intoxication. Anyone arrested for driving with a BAC of 0.17 or greater is a high-BAC offender and will face an automatic one-year license suspension. However, you may be eligible for a restricted license after 45 days if you install an ignition interlock device on all of the vehicles you own.
In most circumstances, you will have to keep the BAIID on your vehicle for at least a year. You cannot simply remove the device when you please.
Four Consequences of a Michigan Ignition Interlock Device
- Embarrassment. It can be personally humiliating to have to blow into the device every time you start your vehicle. Friends or family who want to use your car will also have to use it as well.
- Cost. The dollars can add up for an ignition interlock device. The device itself may cost several hundred dollars. You will also need to pay monthly or daily fees for the rental of the device and the transmission of your data.
- Hassle. A state-approved vendor must install the interlock. You might not live close to a qualified installer and will have to secure transportation to get to one.
- Future legal trouble. If the ignition interlock device indicates that your BAC is too high, you have committed a violation. Contact a Michigan ignition interlock lawyer right away. Your attorney will help you to deal with the possible consequences.