Michigan Ignition Interlock Device

There are many penalties for driving under the influence in Michigan: jail time, community service, fines, and loss of driving privileges. If you are convicted of DUI/OWI, the judge may order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle as a condition of probation or your driver's license restoration.

So what is an ignition interlock device? This is a machine that is used to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) before your vehicle can start. The ignition interlock device is typically installed in the dashboard of your vehicle. It works similar to a Breathalyzer - you have to breathe into the device so it can measure your BAC. If it is over a preset limit, your vehicle will not start.

The ignition interlock device is designed to prevent tampering. When blowing into the device, you may be required to hum. This deters people from using an air mechanism to trick the device. If a driver tries to physically tamper with the device, an alarm may sound.

You may be required to perform a rolling retest. This test occurs after your initial test, when you are driving, and ensures that you did not have a friend take the breath test in order to start the vehicle. If you fail this rolling test, the horn will start honking or the lights will flash on and off until you turn your vehicle off.

Every breath test is recorded by the device. You will be required to take the ignition interlock device in for routine maintenance. During this checkup, all of the information from the device is downloaded. If you failed the breath test at any time, this may be reported to the court or your probation officer.

The fees for the ignition interlock device installation, rental and maintenance will come directly out of your pocket. The installation may cost between $100 and $200 while the monthly rental fee may range from $70 to $100.

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