In Michigan, if you have been convicted of certain drunk driving offenses you may be required to install a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) in your car. The judge has discretion to order an ignition interlock with a first offense OWI, although few rarely exercise that discretion. Some judges will require it with a second or third offense OWI. It is mandatory if convicted of a High BAC or Superdrunk if you want to get a restricted license. If you apply to have your driver’s license reinstated with the Driver’s Appeals and Assessment Division (DAAD) through the Secretary of State, they will require you to have an ignition interlock device if your petition is successful. You will have to drive with the ignition interlock for a year before applying for full reinstatement.
The prices for the BAIID vary depending on the company you choose. Prices for the initial installation run anywhere from $100-200 and the monthly rental fees vary from $50-100.
The BAIID and the Blow-Hum Technique
The ignition interlock device is a machine used to determine your breath alcohol content (BAC) before your car will start. Typically it is installed into the dashboard. It is similar to a portable Breathalyzer or PBT. If your BAC is over a pre-set amount, the car will not start. The BAIID are also designed to prevent tampering. The driver will have to blow into the device using the blow-hum technique. It’s just like it sounds—you blow and hum at the same time to get the device to work. This method is to prevent using an air mechanism to fool the machine. Most BAIID take about one-and-a-half milliliters of breath to start the device which usually takes around two to three seconds. To get the blow-hum technique down try practicing by blowing the word “who” with a humming sound.
Once you start your car and it is in motion, you will periodically have to blow into the device at some point in order to keep the car going. This is to ensure that you haven’t consumed alcohol since your initial test and to make sure you just didn’t simply have a friend blow into the device for the initial start. If you fail or miss the rolling stop, the horn will start honking and the lights will start flashing until you turn the car off. It can be quite dangerous to perform the rolling test while the car is in motion. The safest way is to pull off to the side of the road and do the rolling test.
Every breath test is recorded. You are required to take the device in for routine maintenance. Failing or missing a breath test means the company will report it to your probation officer or the Secretary of State. If that happens, you face an ignition interlock violation and the SOS can reinstate your previous license revocation. You have to act quickly if that occurs because you only have 14 days to contest the violation and request a hearing.
If you are applying for a full license reinstatement you have to go through the same process as your initial driver’s license restoration petition but you have to add your ignition interlock report.
If you are facing an ignition interlock violation or are applying to have your driver’s license restored or reinstated, we can help get you back on the road. Contact Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to speak to a Michigan driver’s license appeals and restoration attorney.
Representing clients in driver’s license appeals and restorations and ignition interlock violations throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Livingston, Jackson, Washtenaw, Clinton, Gratiot, Barry, Shiawassee, Calhoun, Kalamazoo, Kent and in the cities of Lansing, Charlotte, Howell, Jackson, Ann Arbor, St. Johns, Ithaca, Hastings, Corunna, Durand, Battle Creek, Kalamazoo, Grand Rapids.