Michigan Senate passes bills that could help reduce drunk driving

Published: Jun. 8, 2023 at 12:22 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - The Michigan Senate passed bills Thursday to expand the use of ignition interlock devices to help reduce drunk driving in the state.

An ignition interlock is an in-vehicle device that measures alcohol concentration before starting the car.

People who violate the state’s driving while intoxicated (DWI) law may be placed in the interlock program and receive a restricted license from the secretary of state after installing an ignition interlock device.

The bills would allow judges in the state’s drug treatment, mental health and veterans treatment courts to order an ignition interlock device when appropriate for a defendant. Under current law, only judges in the state’s DWI/sobriety courts can issue such an order.

The bills would also create the Specialty Court Interlock Program and apply the current requirements for the DWI/Sobriety Court Interlock Program to the new program.

“Research has shown that ignition interlock devices are more effective in reducing DUI recidivism than license suspensions alone,” said Senator Ruth Johnson, R-Holly. “These programs have also been proven to reduce drunk driving crashes and deaths. This change allows more people in our state to have a legal path to restore their driving privileges, while also protecting other drivers, passengers and pedestrians.”

The bills now head to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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