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Drive drunk and you may need an ignition interlock device

The Repeat Offender laws in the State of Michigan are tough. They are designed either to keep repeat drunk drivers off the road altogether, or to ensure they stay sober behind the wheel. If you have been arrested for the second or even third time for driving under the influence, additional penalties are possible-and probable. For example, the court may require you to have an ignition interlock device.

How you qualify as a repeat offender

Michigan recognizes a repeat offender as someone with at least two alcohol-related convictions on their record within the past seven years. Having three or more convictions in a 10-year timeframe also qualifies a driver as a repeat offender. Lastly, three - if not more - convictions for driving on a suspended or revoked license over the past seven years also puts a driver in the repeat offender classification.

Standard penalties for repeat offenders

If you are arrested for drunk driving, the actual metal license plate of the car or truck you operate will be destroyed and a replacement will not be issued until your case is resolved. Denial of vehicle registration will also be imposed if you are arrested as a repeat offender. This means it is against the law to get a vehicle in any way, including purchasing or leasing. If your vehicle is subjected to registration denial, or if it has been immobilized or forfeited, you will need a court order if you wish to transfer the vehicle registration to a family member.

Other penalties for repeat offenders

Under Michigan law, your driver's license could be suspended or revoked, and vehicle registration denial will remain in place until you become eligible for another license. In addition, the court could require you to undergo substance abuse treatment. As a repeat offender, you may also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle once your driving privileges are reinstated.

The ignition interlock device explained

A Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device, or BAIID, is a breath alcohol analyzer. It is a device about the size of a mobile phone that has an internal memory and operates on computer logic. There are strict calibration standards, with certain specifications defined by the state. The software registers your blood alcohol level and prevents the vehicle from starting if your BAC is .025 or higher. The device, which connects to the ignition system, also includes a camera, which can record your digital image while you are providing a breath sample. You can also expect random retests, called "rolling tests," while you are driving.

Seek legal help as soon as possible

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious matter. If you have been arrested as a repeat drunk driving offender, you are looking at some stiff penalties. Your next step should be to contact an attorney experienced with DUI offenses. Do not delay. You will need a strong legal defense and a lawyer who will work diligently to provide the most favorable outcome for your case.

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