All You Need To Know About Michigan’s Interlock Ignition Device Law

The Law

If you have any of the following combination of drunk or drugged driving convictions, the law indicates that you are a Habitual Offender:

  • Two or more convictions within 7 years.
  • Three or more convictions within 10 years.

The Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver license of a Habitual Offender and deny his or her application for another license.

After the minimum period of revocation/denial, a Habitual Offender may be eligible for a driver license appeal hearing. If a restricted license is ordered, the hearing officer must require that the Habitual Offender install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device [BAIID] on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. The person cannot drive until the BAIID is properly installed and proof of installation is presented to a local Secretary of State branch office.

Beginning October 31, 2010, anyone with a restricted license that requires a BAIID must continue to drive with the device until the Secretary of State authorizes him or her to remove it.

How does an Interlock Ignition Device Work?

A BAIID is a breath alcohol analyzer, with computer logic and an internal memory. It connects with a motor vehicle’s ignition and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver’s bodily alcohol content [BAC], and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is .025 or higher. The device will also ask for random retests while the person is driving [rolling retests].

If the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures in a monitoring period, or 1 rolling retest failure, or if it detects tampering, the vehicle must be taken to a service center immediately. If that service is not done, the BAIID will go into a “lock-out” mode, and the vehicle cannot be operated.

Test failures, tampering, or other BAIID-related violations will result in an extension of the time before the driver can ask for another driver license appeal hearing, or may require that the original license revocation/denial be reinstated.

So to put it simply: If you blow into your device and it detects alcohol, you’re not going anywhere and you’ll have to wait even longer to get your license back

How do I get a Interlock Ignition Device Installed?

The device must be installed by a vendor that is approved by the State of Michigan. A list of current vendors should be included with your driver’s license appeal order.

You may also visit this link to view a list of approved vendors http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-15719-70471–,00.html

Reports and Removal Authorization

If a hearing officer orders a restricted license for you with a BAIID requirement, you must drive under the restrictions, with a properly installed BAIID, for at lest 1 full year.

If there are alcohol readings or other BAIID violations after the device is installed, your vendor will report them to the Secretary of State. As indicated before, the possible consequences of those reports may include an extension of the time before you can request another license appeal hearing, or the reinstatement of the original license revocation/denial.

When you are eligible, you may request a license appeal hearing to ask that the restrictions be removed from your license. At that hearing, you must present the report(s) from your BAIID provider(s) to prove that the device was installed for at least the minimum required length of time, and to establish whether there were any alcohol readings or other BAIID violations.

If your hearing was held, or your restricted license that requires a BAIID, was issued on or after October 31, 2010, you must keep the device on your vehicle until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove it.

What is considered an Interlock Ignition Device Violation?

Violations of the BAIID program for habitual offenders are divided into “minor” and “major” categories.

Minor Violations:

  • A driver has 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, it is a minor violation if the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures within a monitoring period. A start-up test failure means the BAIID has prevented the vehicle from starting. A monitoring period is the full length of time the BAIID is required to be properly installed.
  • If the driver fails to report the BAIID installer for servicing within 7 days after his or her scheduled monitoring date, it is a minor violation.

Major Violations:

  • Rolling retest violation:
    • Failing to take the rolling retest when prompted by the BAIID; or
    • The random retest detects a BAC of .025 or higher, and there is no subsequent sample with a BAC of less than .025 within 5 minutes.
  • An arrest or conviction for drunk and/or drugged driving.
  • Tampering with the BAIID.
  • Circumventing the BAIID.
  • Three minor violations within a monitoring period.
  • Removing the BAIID without having another device installed within 7 days, unless the Secretary of State has authorized the removal.
  • Operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID.
Consequences

Minor violations will result in a 3-month extension of the time before you may request another license appeal hearing.

Major violations will result in the immediate reinstatement of your original driver license revocation/denial. You may appeal that action to the DAAD. The appeal must be in writing, and must be submitted within 14 days after the effective date of the reinstatement.

Interlock Ignition Device + Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law
Effective October 31, 2010, the law requires tougher sanctions for a driver convicted for operating a vehicle with a BAC of .17 or higher, even if it is her or her first conviction.

If you are convicted of the High BAC crime, in addition to any penalties ordered by the court, your driver license will be suspended for 1 year. You will be eligible for a restricted license after serving 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is installed on every vehicle you operate. The restrictions remain in effect for the remainder of the 1-year period, and until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove the BAIID, and until you pay a license reinstatement fee.

A High BAC offender has the option to keep the license suspension for the full year, and not have the BAIID installed. At the end of that year, if no other sanctions have been imposed, you may pay the license reinstatement fee and return to full driving.

If you decide that you want the restricted license, you will have 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, if monitoring of the BAIID reveals any instance of a .025 or higher BAC reading, you will receive another 1-year suspension of your driver license, and again be eligible for a restricted license after servicing 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

If you are arrested for driving without a properly installed BAIID, the law enforcement officer must impound the vehicle. If you own or co-own the vehicle, the officer must destroy the metal registration plate.

If you are convicted of operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID, there will be another 1-year suspension of your driver license, and you will again be eligible for a restricted license after serving 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

For more about Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law click here 

For more information you can also visit Michigan’s Secretary of State website 

If you have questions about a driver’s license appeal or a DUI Charge contact Aida Spahic at (248) 624-5500 or  visit our website

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Filed under Aida Spahic, Driver's License, Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI, Holly Valente

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