Written by attorney Cy M. Abdo

Ignition Interlock, Blow and Go Device for Michigan Super Drunks

Effective October 31, 2010, a first time offender who is convicted of having a high blood alcohol content drunk driving (.17 or greater) will be required to have the ignition interlock installed on a vehicle. If you are convicted pursuant to Michigan’s Super Drunk Law, effective October 31, 201, you will receive a hard suspension of license for first 45 days (no driving) and restricted with the requirement of ignition interlock for the remaining 320 days. Individuals who violate their restrictions will obtain another license penalty equal to the above; another 45 days hard suspension and another 320 days on ignition interlock. In addition, the new laws require vehicle impoundment when a person is caught driving without the interlock device after being placed on restrictions.


An ignition interlock system, referred to as Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) is a breath alcohol analyzer with computer logic and internal memory that interconnects with the ignition and other control systems of a motor vehicle. The purpose of the BAIID is to measure the bodily alcohol concentration (BAC) of an intended driver and to prevent the motor vehicle from being started if the BAC exceeds the .025. The Ignition Interlock is wired into the electrical system of the vehicle. The vehicle's electrical system must be in good working order before having the interlock installed. At the time of installation, the restricted driver is given training to use the interlock. An ignition interlock is a sophisticated system that tests for alcohol on a driver's breath. The offender can only drive in a vehicle with an ignition interlock device installed. It is a device that requires a vehicle operator to blow into a small handheld alcohol sensor unit that is attached to a vehicle's dashboard. The device will ask for random rolling retests while driving. If you acquire startup test violations within a monitoring period, or rolling retest failure, or the device detects tampering, the device will require the instrument to be brought in immediately or will lock out the driver from further operation. The State of Michigan will not be sympathetic if you used mouthwash or cold medication containing alcohol. These test violations will result in further extensions of the one year period or the reinstatement of the original order of revocation/denial. In addition, the person who is required to have an interlock installed will be subject to prosecution for operating a vehicle without the device as law enforcement officers will be able to view the person’s record on the police vehicle computer!

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