New Legislation Broadens the Use of Ignition Interlock Devices

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer recently signed legislation that broadens the use of ignition interlock devices to reach more defendants.

What is an interlock device?

An ignition interlock is an in-vehicle device that measures alcohol concentration before enabling a vehicle to start. Interlock devices used in Michigan must be capable of recording a digital image of the person breathing into the device. The device also requires random retests while driving.

What do the new laws provide?

Senate Bills 134 and 135, signed into law in September, allow judges in Michigan’s veterans treatment, mental health, and drug treatment specialty courts to order ignition interlock devices for defendants when necessary through the Specialty Court Interlock Program. Michigan specialty courts provide specialized rehabilitation, treatment, and supervision services to non-violent offenders with addictions and mental illness, as alternatives to incarceration.

Prior to the new law, only judges in the state’s sobriety courts issued such an order. Judges and treatment professionals urged the Michigan legislature to expand the option to the specialty courts to reach additional individuals who may benefit from the program.

In addition to receiving a restricted license from the Secretary of State, an individual in the Specialty Court Interlock Program would be required to pay for the installation, maintenance, and rental of the device.

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer questions regarding changes in Michigan’s law. To speak with an attorney, please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Municipal