If the police accuse you of operating while intoxicated (OWI), there are numerous penalties you might face. There will be fines and possibly jail time, as well as the potential for probation or community service.
The state may also suspend your license for the drunk driving offense. In some cases, those accused of certain alcohol-related driving offenses will have an additional responsibility when they seek to regain their driving privileges.
The courts in Michigan may order someone to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) on any vehicle that they will drive while subject to licensing restrictions. The driver cannot legally operate a vehicle without a BAIID installed and will have to perform a breath test every time they drive. When does Michigan require a BAIID in your vehicle?
When the state views you as a habitual offender
The more times you have faced accusations of impaired driving in the past, the greater the risk that you might make the same mistake after this most recent arrest. Michigan imposes additional licensing penalties on anyone that the law determines is a habitual offender.
If you have had two or more OWI convictions within seven years or three or more convictions within 10 years, the state will likely suspend your license. You can appeal at a hearing and request a restricted license. That restricted license necessitates the installation of a BAIID in any vehicle that you will operate.
How does the BAIID work?
A BAIID is essentially a breath test that interacts with your vehicle’s ignition system. If you provide a breath sample that shows a blood alcohol concentration of 0.025% or higher, the vehicle will not start. You will also have to perform tests while the vehicle is in motion, and the device can capture images while you perform the tests to make sure you don’t have someone else do it for you.
The obvious benefit of installing a BAIID in your vehicle is that you can drive legally. The drawbacks include the expense. You will have to invest in the installation of the device and then pay for its maintenance every month. Additionally, if you fail the test, you can get locked out of your vehicle.
If you need to drive, requesting a hearing and obtaining a restricted license can help you. Fighting back against an OWI charge could also help you avoid needing to install a BAIID in your vehicle.