An Ignition Interlock Can Save Your Job

Ignition interlock devices help get people back on the road so they can maintain employment. There are secrets to avoiding violations and losing driving privileges.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

Ignition Interlocks Are Now Wireless

An ignition interlock device looks like a breathalyzer. It is either wireless or attached to a vehicle’s dashboard and will not allow a car to start if the driver has any breath alcohol. Unfortunately, innocent mistakes and technical glitches can result in unintentional ignition interlock violations.


Many regulations must be followed to use the interlock device properly. For instance, you must never leave your vehicle running and unattended, even momentarily. If you fail to provide a rolling re-test, that is a major violation. If you have your car worked on, you must provide legible, dated, and signed receipts. There are numerous other concerns with an interlock device. It is essential that you understand every requirement so that you do not have to face a possible violation.

If there is an accusation of an interlock violation, you will get a letter from the Secretary of State notifying you of the problem and that your license will be revoked again in a few days. The only remedy at this point is to file an appeal within 14 days to schedule a hearing so that you can hopefully win your license back again. If you do not appeal, your license remains revoked, and you will have to start all over again.

How to Fight an Ignition Interlock Violation

To fight an ignition interlock violation allegation, gathering evidence that challenges the violation’s validity is crucial. This could include data logs from the device, maintenance records to prove it was functioning correctly, and testimony about your activities and consumption before the alleged violation. Understanding how the device works and what might trigger a false positive is also important. Legal representation is advisable as an experienced attorney can help navigate the technical and legal complexities involved in such cases, presenting a strong defense on your behalf.

To fight against ignition interlock violations, follow these steps:

  1. Consult an Attorney: Seek legal advice from an attorney experienced in DUI/DWI laws and ignition interlock devices.
  2. Gather Evidence: Collect relevant information, including device logs, maintenance records, and witness statements.
  3. Understand Device Functioning: Understand how the ignition interlock device works and the potential causes for false readings.
  4. Request a Hearing: If applicable, request an administrative hearing with the Michigan Department of State to challenge the violation.
  5. Prepare Your Defense: Develop a defense strategy based on the evidence and the specifics of your case.

Each case is unique, so your driver’s license restoration attorney must tailor your approach based on the specific circumstances and evidence available.

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

How do wireless alcohol interlock devices work?

Wireless alcohol interlock devices are designed to prevent a vehicle from starting if the driver has consumed alcohol. These devices require the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the car. The device measures the alcohol level in the breath and sends the data wirelessly to a monitoring authority. If the breath alcohol concentration is above a preset limit, the device prevents the vehicle from starting. These devices often include real-time reporting and tamper detection to ensure compliance and reliability.

Alcohol interlock devices use fuel cell technology to detect alcohol. When a driver breathes into the device, the breath passes over a fuel cell, a component that reacts chemically with alcohol. This reaction produces a small electrical current proportional to the amount of alcohol present in the breath. The device measures this current to determine the breath alcohol concentration. If the alcohol level exceeds a preset limit, the device prevents the car from starting and reports an ignition interlock violation to the Michigan Department of State.

Ignition Interlock Violation Based on a False Positive

An alcohol interlock device can sometimes produce a false positive violation. This can occur due to various factors, such as:

  • Use of alcohol-containing products: Products like mouthwash or hand sanitizers that contain alcohol can cause false readings if used shortly before a test.
  • Malfunction or poor maintenance: Faulty or improperly maintained devices can give inaccurate readings.
  • Food or drink interference: Certain foods or drinks might contain enough alcohol to trigger the device.
  • Environmental factors: High temperatures or other environmental conditions can sometimes affect the device’s functioning.
Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorneys With Extensive Experience in Driver’s License Cases and Traffic Felony and Misdemeanor Defense

The Michigan Secretary of State has many complex and difficult to understand rules and regulations related to driving, driver licenses, and ignition interlock violations. If you currently have a suspended and restricted license and want to get back on the road legally, it is vital that you enlist the help of attorneys who understand the inner workings of the Secretary of State and practice before its Administrative Law Judges regularly. The attorneys at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. understand the importance of having a valid driver’s license and being legally on the road. There is minimal public transportation in southeastern Michigan. The ability to drive legally is of paramount importance. Do not trust your ability to legally drive with just any lawyer who says they can help. Go with the good and affordable attorneys with a proven track record of success — LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. We look forward to assisting you.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys