Will I Have to Get an Ignition Interlock for a DUI or OWI in Michigan?

Information on the Ignition Interlock Device in the Wolverine State of MI

Ignition Interlock for a DUI or OWI in Michigan

Individuals who are caught drinking and driving and charged for DUI or OWI in Grand Rapids, Flint, Detroit, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Dearborn, Muskegon, Kalamazoo, and any other city or town in the state of Michigan face the same MI Ignition Interlock penalties under the current state DUI/OWI laws. Those operating a vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more in this state will be charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). Should offenders be convicted of a DUI or OWI offense in MI, they face a number of penalties including monetary fines, jail time, having their driver’s license suspended, and having to get and install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) and pay for all of it’s costs and maintenance fees.

Research has shown most individuals are too impaired to drive when their BAC reaches 0.05 percent and all individuals are considered impaired with a BAC of 0.08 percent. This is why almost all states have adopted 0.08 percent as their threshold for being charged with DUI & OWI. Additionally, drivers in the state of Michigan can be charged with DUI if they are commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04 percent or minor drivers with any BAC (Michigan has a zero tolerance policy for minors). The MI DUI and OWI penalties that require the use of an Ignition Interlock device are the same for these offenders as they are for the average offender. In order for any driver to have the best chances of not having to install an Ignition Interlock and avoid a driver’s license suspension for a DUI or OWI charge in Michigan, they will need to have the details of the arrest examined by us as soon as possible to find defense options.

What Are the Penalties for Driving Under the Influence and OWI Charges in Michigan?

When individuals are tried and convicted of DUI or OWI charges in Michigan, they face a number of different penalties, which also includes having to get an Ignition Interlock device installed on any car a convicted offender will drive. These DUI penalties are meant to discourage offenders from drinking and driving again and also make an example for other individuals. First time DUI/OWI offenders in the state of Michigan face penalties that include:

  1. Spending Up to 93 Days in Jail
  2. Paying Fines Between $100 and $500
  3. Submitting to a Driver’s License Suspension of Up to Six Months
  4. Possibly Having to Install and Use an Ignition Interlock Device

A repeat or 2nd DUI or OWI offense the state of Michigan face even harsher penalties. A repeat offender is anyone with a previous drinking and driving offense within the last seven years. Second time DUI offenders, or those who have one previous offense in the last seven years, in the state of Michigan face penalties that include:

  1. Spending Five Days to One Year in Jail or Serving Between 30 and 90 Days of Community Service
  2. Paying Fines Between $200 and $1,000
  3. Submitting to a Driver’s License Suspension of a Minimum of One Year
  4. Having to Get and Install an Ignition Interlock For at Least 1 Year on Average

Third time MI DUI & OWI offenders, or those who have two previous offenses in the last seven years, in the state of Michigan face penalties that include:

  1. Spending 30 Days to Five Years in Jail
  2. Paying Fines Between $200 and $1,000
  3. A Driver’s License Suspension Length of Time For a Minimum of 2 Years on Average
  4. Having to Install and Use an Ignition Interlock For at Least 2 Years

How Does the Implied Consent DUI & OWI Law in Michigan Work?

The state of Michigan also enforces an “implied consent law” for DUI and OWI arrests, which is also enforced in many other states across the country. Under this law, drivers who have a driver’s license in the state of Michigan automatically consent to having chemical testing done to prove their BAC level. During MI DUI arrests should a driver refuse these DUI tests, they are subject to paying a fine and an automatic driver’s license suspension. First time DUI and OWI offenders who refuse testing will have a driver’s license suspended for a period of one year – second time offenders are suspended for two years, and third time offenders a period of five years.

What is an Ignition Interlock Device and How Does it Work With a Michigan DUI or OWI Offense?

In Michigan, an Ignition Interlock is also called a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID), works much in the same way a traditional Breathalyzer test works, except it is connected to a vehicle’s ignition system. Operators of the vehicle is required to blow into the device, usually mounted on the car’s dashboard, before starting the vehicle. Should their blood alcohol content read above the pre-determined level, usually set between 0.02 percent and 0.04 percent, the car does not start.

The way an DUI/OWI Interlock works in MI, is when drivers blow into the device – a fuel cell analyzes the sample to determine the operator’s BAC. As mentioned before, when the breath sample is above the predetermined BAC level, the car does not start, but should it be within the predetermined range, the vehicle starts normally. Additionally, some systems require drivers to give intermittent tests while driving as a means to prevent other individuals besides the driver from giving the sample.

When is Using an Ignition Interlock Device Required in the State of Michigan?

Michigan DUI & OWI law authorizes certain individuals to use an Ignition Interlock device when they have been convicted of driving offenses related to alcohol use. The court system requires the installation and maintenance of an Interlock for those offenders who wish to have their driver’s license reinstated. This Ignition Interlock requirement applies to all of the following DUI and OWI situations:

  • All first time offenders with a BAC of 0.17 percent or more
  • All repeat offenders with a BAC of 0.17 percent or more
  • All “habitual” offenders
  • All offenders who have two or more DUI convictions within the last seven years
  • All offenders who have three or more DUI convictions within the last 10 years

Who is Responsible for Paying for the Total Cost of Getting an Ignition Interlock Device?

When the use of an Ignition Interlock device is authorized in the state of Michigan, DUI and OWI offenders using the device are almost always responsible for paying costs associated with the device. The Interlock costs most often include lease payments, the cost of installation, any maintenance, as well as the removal of the device when the period of use has ended. MI offenders who need to acquire an Interlock should expect to pay around $100 for installation as well as between $75 and $120 a month for leasing of the device.

What is the Process of Getting an Ignition Interlock Device Installed in Michigan?

When the use of an Interlock is authorized for a DUI or OWI offense in the state of Michigan, a driver will need to follow the process outlined for them by the court. Generally, they will need to lease the Interlock device from an IID provider within the state. Additionally, this provider also needs to be state approved. State approved Ignition Interlock device providers can be found throughout the state of Michigan, and the MI Department of Motor Vehicles for the state has a full list of approved providers on their website.

After leasing the IID from an approved Interlock provider, convicted Michigan DUI and OWI offense drivers will also need to ensure the Ignition Interlock device is professionally installed in all their vehicles registered by the states standards. Once complete, individuals likely need to report back to the judge, court, probation officer, and/or the Department of Motor Vehicles so their usage period can begin. Often, they need to provide a copy of the IID lease agreement as well as a receipt from the installation. We fully realize just how expensive it is for what the full cost of the MI Ignition Interlock requirement penalties, and we understand why the first common questions those arrested for a DUI/OWI offense in Michigan have is “will I need to have an Ignition Interlock device put on my car, and will my license get suspended?” Once a MI Ignition Interlock lawyer reviews a individual’s own arrest scenario online with us as to what happened, they can then be able let a driver know of any potential ways and strategies of how to avoid having to get and install an Ignition Interlock device in:

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