Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Michigan Releases Results of Its Ignition Interlock Device Study

Are ignition interlock devices actually useful in deterring drunk driving in Michigan? 

The potential penalties awaiting a habitual DUI offender can be pretty steep, including significant fines and possible jail time. One way to avoid the effects of a second, third, or subsequent DUI conviction is to avoid driving while intoxicated all together – a concept which prompted the Michigan legislature to implement an ignition interlock device (IID) option for DUI defendants who must rely on their vehicles for transportation to work or school. 

For a period spanning from 2011 through 2014, Michigan authorities followed several IID cases to determine whether the program actually helped to deter recidivism and prevent intoxicated driving. Overall, the program proved wildly successful, and lawmakers are taking steps to expand the program and encourage offenders to voluntarily enroll in the program as an alternative to incarceration. 

Results of 2014 Ignition Interlock Device study

Participants in the IID program are typically offered enrollment as an alternative sentence, and are required to engage in concurrent substance abuse counseling and community service. As a condition of successful completion, each enrollee must submit to a daily breathalyzer prior to starting his or her vehicle – which will remain inoperable until the breath test registers total sobriety. 

Out of the study, the following statistics emerged: 

• Within the areas of Kalamazoo, Waterford Township, Grand Rapids, Traverse City and Marquette, 414 enrollees successfully completed the program, while 55 did not. 
• A separate sobriety court group that did not utilize the IID technology had a 34% failure rate, with 137 participants out of 404 failing to complete the program. 
• Less than three percent of participants have been subsequently convicted of a DUI crime.

Likewise, many graduates of the program credit its conditions with helping them to overcome a debilitating addiction to alcohol. In the words of one participant, “I know being able to drive myself — without having to rely on family or friends for rides — has enabled me to make it to work, to my probation appointments….without this, I probably wouldn’t have remained sober.” 

If you are facing a difficult situation or would like to speak with a Troy or Flint, Michigan criminal defense and DUI

attorney about restoring your driving privileges, please contact Martin T. Lievois.  Our office in Flint can be reached at (810)250.4550 and our office in Troy can be reached at (248)419.1566.

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