Getting convicted of a drunk driving offense often changes a person’s life. The various punishments that come along with a conviction of OWI or DUI are seemingly endless, ranging from probation or jail time to court costs, supervision fees, mandated treatment programs, and so on.
Indeed, that list may get a little longer in Michigan, if Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) are successful in their recent campaign to increase the use of ignition interlock devices as an additional punishment for all people convicted of drunk driving offenses.
As the law stands now, any person convicted of drunk driving with a blood-alcohol content of .17 or greater is required to have an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicle, once they get their license reinstated. However, under MADD’s proposed suggestion, the interlock would be an available tool for judges to use in any case in which someone was convicted of DUI or OWI.
Currently, about 13 states require the use of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of first-time offenders. However, many of those states, like Michigan, only require them to be installed when the blood-alcohol content was over a certain amount.
What Is an Ignition Interlock Device? Ignition interlock devices are small computers that are mounted on a vehicle, usually on the dashboard or near the steering column. The device, which is able to detect alcohol on the breath, requires anyone starting the car to blow into a small tube. If there is anything over a trace amount of alcohol on the person’s breath, the car will not start, and the authorities will be notified that someone attempted to start the car but was prevented from doing so.
Ignition interlock devices usually cost a few hundred dollars to install on a vehicle, and they also require a monthly maintenance fee. All costs associated with the device are the responsibility of the person who is required to have the device. In other words, this is yet another monetary penalty for those convicted of DUI or OWI.
Fighting Drunk Driving Cases With all the penalties that come along with a drunk driving conviction, it is imperative that those who are charged with an offense do all they can to ensure that the charge affects their future as little as possible. It is a common misconception that drunk driving cases cannot be fought and won. In fact, there are several very specific defenses to drunk driving cases, which can prevent a prosecutor from proving their case.
Have You Been Arrested for Drunk Driving? If you have recently been arrested for drunk driving, you should consult with a dedicated Michigan DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Steven Schwartz. With decades of experience practicing Michigan criminal law, Attorney Steven Schwartz and his colleagues know how to successfully defend against Michigan DUI cases and do everything they can to ensure that their clients are treated fairly throughout the process. Call (248) 266-8720 to set up a free consultation today.