If you are reading this, it is safe to assume that you currently have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in your vehicle, the Secretary of State (SOS) has ordered you to install one, or you’re already looking ahead to when you can get it removed. While installing an ignition interlock can be irritating, it is an important stepping stone into getting your full driver’s license back.
When you can get your BAIID removed depends mainly on one thing: the amount of ignition interlock violations you had.
What is a BAIID?
A BAIID is a car breathalyzer, with computer logic and an internal memory. It connects with a motor vehicle’s ignition system and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver’s bodily alcohol content (BAC) by breath sample, and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is .025 g/L or higher.
As of June 2016, state law mandates that the BAIID must include a camera capable of recording a digital image of the individual providing the sample. The device will also ask for random retests while the person is driving (aka “rolling retests”).
If the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures in a monitoring period, or 1 rolling retest failure, or if it detects tampering, the vehicle must be taken to a service center immediately. These are called major violations. If that service is not done, the BAIID will go into a “permanent lockout” mode, and the vehicle cannot be operated. Additionally, the driver will not be able to drive at all until their violation hearing, which must be scheduled by the driver.
Test failures, tampering, or other BAIID related major violations may require that the original license revocation/denial be reinstated. Leaving your car running is the most common mistake that results in a rolling retest failure.
Ignition Interlock Device Problems
The biggest flaw of BAIIDs are that they are not specific to the alcohol they detect. When you are in a life-altering situation such as a drunk driving offense, it is important to have the most accurate results as possible. Breath tests, such as the datamaster, detect the presence of alcohol using infrared absorption spectrometry.
However, the BAIID does not discriminate based on the source of the alcohol detection. Therefore, windshield washer fluid, gasoline, paint solvents and any other product that contain alcohol are detectable by your BAIID.
Even certain foods/products such as vanilla, pizza, mouthwash and energy drinks are detected as alcohol by the BAIID. Eating or drinking these before blowing into the device can cause a false reading. Therefore, carrying a bottle of water at all times is a good idea in case you have to retest due to consuming the food and liquids listed above.
It is important to remember that if you can smell things like paint solvents in your car, it’s quite possible that the interlock device can detect it as well. If you fail a start-up test, you should get an independent etg breath test done from your local police station immediately to demonstrate your sobriety.
Fighting a False Positive Reading at a Violation Hearing
Once a major BAIID violation is reported to the Michigan Department of State Driver License Appeal Division (DLAD), the driver’s restricted driving privileges will be revoked. Typically, a violation hearing is scheduled within 8 weeks. Therefore, the driver cannot drive whatsoever within those 8 weeks. The hearing is not automatically scheduled; it must be requested by the driver.
In this time, it is vital to collect all documentary evidence, including receipts, witness statements, camera footage, etc. If persuasive, this documentation, along with your personal records, will drastically increase your chances of success at a violation hearing.
You do not want to wait until the last minute; it is imperative you gather all necessary forms of evidence in a timely manner.
Changing BAIID Vendors
If necessary, you do have the option to change BAIID vendors. However, you must have a new device installed within 7 days after the previous one is removed. You must also send your new installation certificate to the SOS’s Office of Hearings and Administrative Oversight.
Additionally, you must submit a BAIID report from each vendor at your next license appeal hearing. You will be responsible for all the fees you agreed to in your contract with each vendor.
*Our firm highly recommends using Nationwide Interlock LLC as their BAIID provider. All of our driver’s license restoration clients who had BAIIDs installed have found them to be incredibly helpful, affordable and professional. Request a quote from Nationwide now >>
Michigan Ignition Interlock Device Removal
Once the driver’s license is revoked, the driver must wait a year before trying to appear in front of a hearing officer to get a license. While rare the first time around, they might be granted full privileges. Most who are successful are granted a restricted license and must drive on it for 1 full year before trying to restore full driving privileges.
If the SOS orders a restricted license for you with a BAIID requirement, you must drive under the restrictions, with a properly installed BAIID, for at least 1 full year.
When you are eligible, you may request a license appeal hearing to ask that the restrictions be removed from your license. At that hearing, you must present the report(s) from your BAIID provider(s) to prove that the device was installed for at least the minimum required length of time.
You must also establish whether there were any alcohol readings or other BAIID violations. This is where you will present your evidence to the contrary, with a skilled lawyer by your side.
*If you have ANY questions about the BAIID installed on your vehicle, ask your installer. Make sure you understand how to operate the BAIID before you leave the installer’s place of business. You will be responsible for the consequences of the device’s operation.
Sydney Fairman is the Social Media Marketing Specialist for the Law Offices of Barton Morris and Cannabis Legal Group. While at Central Michigan University, Sydney was an active member of Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and held various internships, leadership and part-time positions. These places of employment include the City of Mt. Pleasant, Grand Central Magazine, Mackinac State Historic Parks and WCMU Public Media (PBS). She graduated in May 2018 with a Bachelors Degree in Applied Arts in Integrative Public Relations and minor in Journalism. Sydney comes to us after her first position post-college with Gale, a Cengage Company as a Marketing Associate. She possesses a passion for writing, marketing and graphic design and showcases this on the Law Offices of Barton Morris’ website/social media channels, as well as Cannabis Legal Group’s website/social media channels.