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Repeat OWI convictions may force distracted driving

| Nov 4, 2020 | Firm News |

In Michigan, a person who is convicted of multiple operating while intoxicated offenses may lose his or her right to drive. Depending on the situation, the person may receive approval to reinstate driving privileges via a restricted driver’s license.

One condition of a restricted driver’s license may be the required installation and use of a breath alcohol ignition interlock device.

Michigan’s mandate for BAIID use

According to the State of Michigan, a driver convicted of three or more OWI charges within the span of one decade may be required to use a BAIID before receiving a restricted driver’s license. A person convicted of two such charges, whether related to alcohol or drugs, may also be mandated to use a BAIID.

How a BAIID works

A breath alcohol ignition interlock device measures a person’s breath alcohol content via a blow test. This test must be passed before a vehicle can be started. The BAIID keeps the ignition locked until this happens.

Once driving, the BAIID system prompts the driver to provide additional breath samples at random times. These are called rolling retests.

Rolling retests and distracted driving

Car and Driver magazine reported on how several vehicle accidents have been linked to a person’s required participation in a rolling retest. A single rolling retest creates manual, visual and cognitive distractions for a driver as the driver must hold the breath test unit, read the display on the unit and carefully concentrate on all instructions. A rolling retest must be completed within just a few minutes of the prompt to prevent the system from signaling alerts.