Driving drunk is a choice far too many people make, whether as a habitual pattern of behavior or as a one-time mistake brought on by a night of too much alcohol. No matter the reason a person drinks and drives, the risks to personal safety and property are well-documented. Still, many people continue to make the choice to drive while intoxicated, even after a prior drunk driving conviction. In Michigan, however, a habitual drunk driver is considered unable to make the choice to drive sober, requiring any repeat DWI offender to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on any vehicles driven.
An IID is reported to reduce the rate of repeat drunk driving offenses by 67% across the country, through disabling a vehicle from starting if alcohol is detected in the breath of the offender, as well as when the vehicle is in motion. Michigan allows these devices especially for repeat DWI offenders that have shown an inability to drive sober, even after one DWI conviction. This means anyone with two DWI convictions in seven years, or three convictions in 10 years will be allowed to install an IID instead of losing driving privileges all together, depending on the circumstances of the convictions. Since the Secretary of State of Michigan is required to revoke driving privileges of habitual drunk drivers, it is up to the DWI offender to apply for the restricted license that allows an ignition interlock device. Violating the terms of the IID installation in Michigan also carries stiff penalties, so any DWI offender may need to be sure he or she can fulfill the requirements of installation, maintenance and reports of an IID.
Drunk driving remains a dangerous crime, in Michigan and across the country. An ignition interlock helps prevent the possibility of a person who has walked away from a DWI incident in Michigan create another deadly situation that can affect countless lives.