Ignition Interlock Laws in Michigan: Key Regulations and Requirements

Ignition interlock laws play a crucial role in mitigating the risks associated with alcohol-impaired driving. In Michigan, these laws are designed to prevent repeat offenses by requiring the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) in the vehicles of convicted drunk drivers. The IID acts as a breathalyzer test, ensuring that the driver is sober before they can start their car, thus contributing to a safer environment on the roads.

The Michigan DWI/Sobriety Court Ignition Interlock Evaluation provides an overview of the state’s program, highlighting its effectiveness in reducing alcohol-related offenses. According to this study, a significant decline in recidivism rates has been observed among participants utilizing the IID, showcasing the program’s success. It is important to recognize the value of such interventions in ensuring a safer driving experience for all road users and in promoting responsible behaviors among drivers.

Ignition Interlock Laws Overview

Definition of Ignition Interlock

An ignition interlock is a breathalyzer device installed in a vehicle, preventing the vehicle from starting if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeds a pre-set limit. The device measures the driver’s BAC by requiring them to provide a breath sample before starting the car, and periodically during operation.

Purpose and Goals

The primary purpose of ignition interlock laws is to prevent repeat offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) and reduce alcohol-related accidents. Ignition interlock devices have shown to be effective in reducing DUI recidivism. In Michigan, the ignition interlock laws require first-time and repeat offenders to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles, in order to maintain their driving privileges.

The ignition interlock law serves the following goals:

  • Promoting public safety: By preventing DUI offenders from driving under the influence, ignition interlock devices help reduce the risk of alcohol-impaired collisions, which ultimately saves lives and reduces property damage.
  • Reducing recidivism: Studies show that ignition interlock devices reduce the rate of re-offending among DUI offenders by 40-70%, as compared to traditional license suspensions.
  • Deterring DUI: The requirement for an ignition interlock device deters individuals from driving under the influence, as they know their vehicle will not start unless they provide a clean breath sample.

Michigan’s ignition interlock law mandates that all convicted DUI offenders install an interlock device on their vehicles. It’s important to remember that ignition interlock devices are not meant as punishments, but rather as preventive measures to promote public safety and protect lives.

Requirements and Eligibility

Offense Categories

In Michigan, ignition interlock devices are primarily required for repeat alcohol offenders. However, for some specific legal criteria, individuals may be eligible for admission to a DWI/Sobriety Court program which involves the installation of an ignition interlock device as well. This program aims to prevent future alcohol-related offenses and promote safer driving habits 1.

License Reinstatement

Upon meeting eligibility requirements, Michigan offenders seeking license reinstatement must follow a process that could involve the installation of an ignition interlock device. This requirement is aimed at reducing alcohol-impaired driving incidents and improving traffic safety outcomes by engaging with suspended and revoked drivers 2.

The exact requirements for eligibility and reinstatement may vary, depending on the specific circumstances and previous offenses on an individual’s record. It is essential to consult with a legal professional or the appropriate state authorities to determine the necessary steps based on each unique situation.

Installation and Maintenance

Approved Devices

Michigan laws require the installation of ignition interlock devices (IIDs) for individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). Only approved devices can be used for this purpose. These devices must meet specific criteria and be listed on the approved devices list in the state of Michigan.

The approved IIDs are designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver’s alcohol level surpasses a predefined limit. They utilize fuel cell or semiconductor technology for analyzing breath alcohol content (BrAC) to ensure accurate results.

Contracted Providers

For an IID to be recognized as legitimate by the state of Michigan, it must be installed by a contracted provider. These providers follow strict guidelines to ensure that the device is correctly installed and functioning properly. Once the device is installed, the provider will give the necessary information to the Michigan Secretary of State to certify the installation.

Maintenance of the IID throughout its usage is crucial to ensure its effectiveness. Offenders are required to bring their vehicle back to the service center for regular check-ups, which include system calibration and data download. The providers also reset the interlock device in case of violations or other issues that may arise during the period.

It is essential to select an approved and contracted provider for the installation and maintenance of an IID in Michigan. This not only ensures compliance with state laws but also contributes to the offender’s successful rehabilitation and safe driving practices.

Monitoring and Compliance

Periodic Reporting

In Michigan, ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are used to monitor and ensure compliance with court-ordered restrictions for repeat alcohol offenders. The devices require the driver to submit a breath sample, preventing the vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol above a preset limit. During the IID usage period, participants are required to periodically report to the monitoring agency or service provider.

The frequency of the reporting may vary based on individual circumstances and court orders. Program participants’ compliance is tracked and monitored by the Michigan Department of State, which oversees the IID program. This includes evaluations of both the device usage and adherence to reporting requirements, as detailed in the Michigan DWI/Sobriety Court Ignition Interlock Evaluation.

Violation Penalties

Violation of ignition interlock requirements in Michigan can result in significant penalties. Some common IID violations include:

  • Failing or refusing to take rolling retests while driving
  • Tampering or attempting to circumvent the IID
  • Failing to report for device maintenance or data download

Non-compliance with the IID program may lead to license suspension or revocation, the extension of the interlock period, or other penalties as determined by the courts. The Michigan Secretary of State is responsible for enforcing the penalties associated with ignition interlock violations, as outlined in the Evaluation of State Ignition Interlock Programs.

To encourage compliance and deter attempts to circumvent the system, Michigan may also impose additional penalties such as vehicle immobilization or forfeiture. According to the Michigan repeat alcohol offender laws executive summary, about two-thirds of courts monitor compliance with vehicle immobilization orders. These strategies aim to reduce instances of repeat offenses and improve overall public safety on the roads.

Costs and Financial Assistance

Device Fees

Ignition interlock devices (IIDs) are an essential tool in preventing drunk driving, but they also come with costs. The device fees can vary depending on the provider, but the daily cost of an ignition interlock averages about $3 to $4 per day, which is equivalent to the cost of a typical drink. Moreover, there might be additional fees for the installation, maintenance, and removal of the IID.

In Michigan, these fees allow private companies to finance their Ignition Interlock Programs and offer financial assistance to eligible low-income clients. This way, the financial burden on low-income OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) offenders can be reduced, ensuring that they can still benefit from the technology’s preventive measures.

Indigent Programs

Financial assistance for ignition interlock devices in Michigan is available to those OWI offenders who demonstrate financial hardship. An applicant must apply for financial assistance and submit documentation to prove their eligibility. It is essential to establish a set form and eligibility criteria to ensure fairness and transparency in the application process.

These indigent programs help low-income individuals afford the costs associated with ignition interlock devices. This way, the state of Michigan can maintain public safety by requiring OWI offenders to use IIDs, without imposing an additional financial burden on individuals who cannot afford the device fees.

Overall, the costs and financial assistance programs associated with ignition interlock devices in Michigan help ensure that OWI offenders have access to this necessary technology while balancing the financial implications for low-income individuals.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the penalties for an interlock violation in Michigan?

In Michigan, penalties for ignition interlock violations will vary depending on the circumstances. These penalties may include fines, license suspensions, or further requirements for maintaining an interlock device as part of a repeat offender program source.

Which devices are required for meeting Michigan’s ignition interlock regulations?

Approved ignition interlock devices must meet Michigan’s specific regulations. Generally, such devices must be able to accurately detect blood alcohol content (BAC), be tamper-resistant, and meet other requirements outlined by the Michigan Department of State source.

What is the process for removing an interlock device in Michigan?

Upon successful completion of the ignition interlock program, drivers can request device removal. The removal process typically involves submitting documentation to the Michigan Secretary of State for review, and upon approval, a removal appointment with the ignition interlock service provider can be scheduled source.

How do Michigan’s interlock laws compare to other states?

Michigan’s ignition interlock laws are similar to other states, with mandatory or discretionary program participation for certain DUI offenders and specific device requirements. However, each state has unique regulations surrounding eligibility, penalties, and other features of ignition interlock programs source.

What are the costs associated with an ignition interlock device in Michigan?

The costs of ignition interlock devices can vary depending on the provider and specific device features. Generally, there are costs associated with installation, monthly rental fees, maintenance, and removal. Financial assistance may be available for certain qualifying individuals source.

Are there any exemptions to Michigan’s ignition interlock requirements?

In certain cases, exemptions to Michigan’s ignition interlock requirements may be available. Such exemptions typically depend on individual circumstances and may be granted by the court or the Secretary of State source.


  1. https://www.responsibility.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/2015-Michigan-DWI-Sobriety-Court-Ignition-Interlock-Evaluation.pdf

  2. https://heinonline.org/hol-cgi-bin/get_pdf.cgi?handle=hein.journals/tmclr34&section=9

Ignition Interlock Compare
Compare items
  • Total (0)