Recent Changes to Approved Ignition Interlock Devices

An ignition interlock device is installed in the vehicle to monitor alcohol use. The device requires a breath sample before the user may start a vehicle. The device measure bodily alcohol content (BAC). The vehicle will not start if the device detects a BAC of 0.025 or higher. While the vehicle is in operation, random breath tests are also required to ensure that the driver is still alcohol-free.

If a Hearing Officer grants a restricted license, the order must include a requirement that an ignition interlock be installed in any vehicle the person requesting the license intends to drive. An ignition interlock device is required as a condition of a restricted driver’s license for drivers with a conviction for Operating with a Blood Alcohol Content of 0.17 or more and for people who have two or more qualifying convictions in seven years or three or more qualifying convictions in ten years.

An individual who is granted a restricted license following a driver’s license appeal must get an ignition interlock device installed. To comply with the order, the manufacturer or provider of the ignition interlock devices must be one of those authorized by the Secretary of State to install the devices for Michigan drivers. A list of interlock installers is provided in the Appeal Order. You can find the approved manufacturers list by clicking here. Before the restricted license is issued, petitioners must present the certificate of installation at any Secretary of State branch office.

The Secretary of State recently announced that a national supplier of ignition interlock devices called Alcohol Detection Systems (ADS) has been summarily suspended and may no longer supply breath alcohol ignition interlock devices in Michigan. The devices failed to require the necessary start-up tests and periodic retests as mandated by Michigan law. The company also failed to report violations in which drivers were able to start or continue driving without providing a breath sample.

The Secretary of State stated, “Any driver with an ADS device will need to contact Michigan Interlock to have the device removed at no cost and have a new device installed by one of the five approved manufacturers. The new device must be installed within seven days over the ADS device is removed.”

An individual granted a restricted license must comply with the Ignition Interlock program for at least one year. Typically, if a person issued a restricted license by the department that requires an ignition interlock device must not remove the device or cause the device to be removed unless the department has issued an order authorizing its removal. In fact, removing an ignition interlock device could cause the individual’s license to be suspended, revoked, or denied if it is done without authorization from the Secretary of State.

If you are interested in pursuing a driver’s license appeal, call Melissa Freeman at Blanchard Law to discuss your options.

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