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Ignition Interlock Device in Michigan

Question: What is an ignition interlock device? When would someone be required to have one installed in his or her vehicle in a Michigan DUI/OWI case?

Answer: An ignition interlock device is a device that gets installed into a person’s vehicle, and it is a breath test machine. So, it is usually equipped with a camera so they can make sure they know the correct person is blowing into it. It is required every time you start the vehicle, and then at other times while the vehicle is running. You’ll have what they call a rolling retest. So the machine is built to measure breath alcohol, to determine if somebody has consumed any alcohol at all. They’re required in all operating with a high bodily alcohol content, or what’s nicknamed “super drunk,” every conviction for that requires that the Secretary of State order it to be installed after a 45-day suspension. So it would be in the vehicle for the next 320 days, as a requirement in order to be able to operate the vehicle at all.

So, it is required in those situations. It can also be ordered in other situations as well, but you see it very frequently, well, always in the high BAC convictions. Sometimes if things are reduced, a judge might take that into consideration, as far as whether to order that. And it’s also used in situations where people are trying to get their full license privileges back, it can be a stepping stone towards getting to that by allowing you to drive with a restricted license with an interlock device in it first, and then once a period of time has gone on beyond that, then it would be, the Secretary of State might grant total license privileges.