Notice of Proper Ignition Interlock Use

  • The Michigan Secretary of State includes a notice of proper ignition interlock use in every order it issues granting a driver's license restoration appeal. For reference, it is reprinted below. 

None of this applies to anyone who obtains a clearance, which removes Michigan's hold on a non-resident's driving record, and allows him or her to obtain a license in their state of legal residence. It does, however, apply to anyone who has a restricted license with an interlock device. 

In many of my blog articles, I examine every aspect of the interlock, including how to use it, how to avoid a violation in the fist place, and what to do when someone experiences any problems.  

Because my blog is updated with 2 new articles each week, it's best to use the search box in order to narrow your search.

Please note: if you ever fail a startup test, miss a breath test, or otherwise test positive for alcohol, you will essentially be EXPECTED to obtain a timely PBT or EtG test. Although the order indicates that "it is advisable that you obtain an objective test to prove you were not drinking," the reality is that you will be asked to produce one at your next hearing.  Based upon how it actually decides these matters, the state should change the language from "it is advisable" to "it is expected," because that's far more accurate.

Here's the notice:


that follow cover some of the common violations involving the ignition interlock devices, but this list is not exhaustive. You must read this Order in its entirety and learn to use the ignition interlock device correctly. You must familiarize yourself with any and all instructions provided by your ignition interlock company.

•  Never leave your vehicle running and unattended, even momentarily. If you fail to provide a timely rolling re-test for any reason, it is a major ignition interlock violation. Your original revocation/denial will be reinstated and you will lose your license.

•  Never exit your vehicle without first making sure that a rolling re-test has not been requested. Arrive at your destination, physically look at the ignition interlock device, and then turn off the ignition. You should look at the device again before exiting. Do not turn your vehicle off after a rolling re-test has been requested without providing a breath sample within the allotted five (5) minute time frame. Failure to provide a rolling re-test is a major violation. Your original revocation/denial will be reinstated and you will lose your license.

•  Periodically start your vehicle, even if it is not being driven every day, to ensure that the battery remains charged. If your battery dies, use a tow service or AAA to obtain a jumpstart and send the receipt and a letter of explanation to the Department immediately after doing so.

•  You and/or a repair facility must contact the interlock company before making any repairs to your vehicle. Provide notice to the interlock company of the type of repairs and the dates they are scheduled to be completed.

•  Obtain documentation (legible, dated, and signed receipts) for any repairs done to your vehicle. This includes tow receipts and receipts from auto parts stores. These receipts and a letter of explanation that is notarized, dated, and signed by you should be sent to the interlock company immediately after repairs are completed. Make sure it is clear on the face of the receipt if a mechanic has possession of the vehicle for longer than one (1) day.

• Receipts with an accompanying letter of explanation should be scanned, uploaded as an attachment, and emailed to within five (5) days of repairs being completed. Note that this email is used solely to submit documents and that the Department will not respond to emails.

•  Never eat or drink anything (other than plain water) within 15 minutes of providing a breath sample. Be careful if you use mouthwashes or cold medications, such as Listerine, Scope or Nyquil. Many contain alcohol, ranging from about 20% to 30%. You should avoid using any products that contain alcohol. If alcohol is detected by the machine, you should rinse out your mouth with water and provide a second sample within five (5) minutes. Do not just walk away from the machine. It is advisable that you keep a bottle of water in your vehicle. Ask your pharmacist if you are unsure if a product contains alcohol. FOLLOW THIS INSTRUCTION CAREFULLY – YOU WILL BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR POSITIVE ALCOHOL INDICATIONS.

•  With an alcohol reading on your interlock device or other violation such as missed rolling retest or power losses, it is also advisable that you obtain an objective test to prove you were not drinking. This might involve a preliminary breath test (PBT) from your local police station, sheriff’s department, or State Police post if within 1 hour of the violation. It could also involve other chemical tests such as an Ethyl Glucuronide (ETG) test from a toxicology lab if within 24 hours of the violation. Note that doing so will not necessarily avoid a reinstated revocation/denial if a major violation occurs, i.e., a failed rolling re-test. However, the test results may be taken into consideration in the event an administrative hearing is scheduled.

The burden is always on you to prove that you had continued to maintain abstinence and had not relapsed.

•  Limit the people who have access to your vehicle. You are responsible for all violations of the interlock device. Action will be taken against you if another individual misses a re-test, provides a breath sample that includes alcohol, or otherwise violates the interlock device.

• If you change interlock companies, notify the Department within seven (7) days of the removal of your first interlock company’s interlock device and the installation of the new company’s device by mailing the new installation certificate to the Department.

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