I’ve been charged with a BAIID violation, can your Firm represent me? Yes, the Barone Defense Firm has handled many BAIID violations in the past. With the new super drunk law (described below), we expect to represent many more in the future.
What is a BAIID? – This is an acronym for “breath alcohol ignition interlock device.” These devices are installed at your expense by one of several different companies in Michigan (see list below). While in place a typical BAIID requires a driver to blow into the device when they first start their car.
A driver of a BAIID vehicle must retest within the first 5 to 15 minutes, and when driving for longer periods of time the driver must also test about twice every hour. The device records each test and any violation is reported to the monitoring agency. The BAIID will not allow the car to be started if it detects a BAC of .025 or greater.
If during operation it detects a BAC of greater than .025, then a warning signal will be emitted, and after coming to a complete stop the car cannot be re-started until the driver has a BAC of less than .025.
Are there any problems with BAIIDs? Such devices utilize what is called “fuel cell technology” to measure the presence of alcohol in the sample chamber. Fuel cells, like many breath alcohol devices have limitations, specifically when it comes to discerning ethyl alcohol from other alcohols:
A fuel cell is a device designed to continually convert fuel and an oxidant into direct current. As used for breath testing, alcohol is used as the fuel and oxygen from the atmosphere as the oxidant. Alcohol is converted in the fuel cell to acetic acid, producing two electrons for each alcohol molecule. These electrons produce an electrical current that serves to quantitate the amount of alcohol. Acetic acid further reacts at a much slower rate to form oxygen, carbon dioxide and water…Fuel cells can potentially respond to other alcohols such as methyl-, isopropyl-, and n-propyl alcohol, and to acetaldehyde. See, Garriott, James C., Medical-Legal Aspects of Alcohol, Lawyers & Judges Publishing Company, Inc. (2003).
It is important to know this because if you are ever charged with a BAIID violation the problem may be as simple as knowing that the device registered for ethyl alcohol (beverage alcohol) when the actual triggering substance was something else.
Why would I be required to have an ignition interlock?
- Before or after conviction – If you have been either charged or convicted of drunk driving then you may be required to have a BAIID installed in your vehicle. This is because a BAIID can be ordered as a condition of bond (while your case is pending) or as a condition of probation (after you have been convicted).
- As a condition of license reinstatement – If your Michigan license was revoked, and your petition for license reinstatement is successful, then your restricted license will be conditioned on having a BAIID installed in your vehicle for a minimum period of one-year.
- Because you are a “super drunk” – In January 2009 a new drunk driving law was signed into law. This new drunk driving law amends several sections of the Michigan traffic code, and most notably adds a new crime for drivers with a bodily alcohol content (BAC) of .17 or greater. Under this new statutory definition of “operating while intoxicated” these drivers, now known as “super-drunks” are required to have a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) placed on their vehicle. This new law will not take effect until October 31, 2010.
For more information about the new super drunk law, please see Mr. Barone’s article “Michigan’s Legislators Pass Draconian New Super Drunk Law.”
Where can I get one? The following is a list of Michigan’s interlock companies. This information was accurate as of January 2009:
- AMERICAN INTERLOCK – TOLL FREE 1-800-580-0504
District Court- $100.00 a month and $50.00 for installation
State and Circuit Court- $ 75.00 a month and $50.00 Installation
- NATIONAL INTERLOCK SERVICE – TOLL FREE: 1-888-294-7002
Free installation and $75.00 a month
- NEW HORIZON INTERLOCK INC – TOLL FREE: 1-800-597-5054
$73.00 a month and $60.00 installation
- SMART START MICHIGAN – TOLL FREE: 1-888-234-0198
$75.00 a month and $50.00 installation
- AMERICA ONE IGNITION INTERLOCK – TOLL FREE 1-888-786-7384
Where can I get more information on BAIIDs? There are many good web sites that contain more information about interlock devices. One such web site is drcorby.com. You are also certainly welcome to call the Barone Defense Firm with your questions.