A Michigan DUI law amendment has come into question and has been causing controversy for the way it offers a “loophole” for offenders, according to opponents of the amendment.
Laura Dean-Mooney, president of the outspoken DUI law advocacy group MADD presented before a house judiciary committee to argue for the amendment to be removed and the original law to stay as is. The controversy surrounding this amendment is whether a DUI offender who is ordered to install an ignition interlock machine on his vehicle should have to prove that it has been installed. And what if the offender does not own a motor vehicle how can this law be effective?
Michigan DUI law discriminates against people without vehicles
Mary Pilcher-Cook, R-Shawnee, came to the realization that this law, as written, would discriminate against drivers who did not own a motor vehicle. Since these DUI offenders did not own a vehicle, the machine could not be installed. The part of the bill which showed the “prove it” was removed from the amendment.
Michigan DUI law ‘loophole’
For those who actually do not own a motor vehicle, an ignition interlock device is not the best and appropriate sentence for a DUI offender. The ignition interlock device is paid for and installed by the person convicted of drunk driving. However, to place an undue burden on an individual with no personal vehicle does not make sense.
The ignition interlock device explained
The ignition interlock device is a small handheld breath alcohol monitoring device that is wired to a vehicle’s ignition system. The ignition interlocks prevent the car’s engine from starting until the driver blows into the alcohol detector to test and prove the driver’s sobriety. But critics think that the ignition interlock devise could lead to measures that restrict alcohol policies too much.
Reason behind the ignition interlock device
One of the main reasons behind sentencing a DUI offender to have the ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle instead of just suspending a license is to modify behavior. And this interlock device tends to deter second time DUI offenders and others from driving intoxicated.
The ignition interlock device ‘no cost to taxpayers’
DUI offenders must pay for the device, which is installed on the dashboard in addition to a monthly state fee and a monthly rental fee. Legislators and government officials are in favor of this program because the installation and maintenance fees are paid for by the DUI offenders and do not affect taxpayers.
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