In my work as a Michigan driver's license restoration attorney, I have seen a dramatic increase in the number of ignition interlock violations listed as "tamper/circumvent." This is a horrible circumstance that is most often the result of a honest mechanical problem with a person's car and somehow ends up with him or her opening a letter from the Michigan Secretary of State to learn that his or license has been revoked again. The state likes to put it in a more confusing way, and say that it has reinstated its original action, meaning the revocation. However it's said, it means that the Secretary of State has yanked your license all over again.
In many of the numerous cases I've handled, my client has actually made contact with his or her interlock company before any work was done on the car. In some cases, a new battery is put in; in others, some other work has been done on the vehicle that results in a momentary power loss. Whatever the case, and despite taking all measures to avoid trouble, a person subsequently winds up with a violation notice and the temporarily unavoidable re-revocation of his or her license. This is one area, in particular, where I can add my voice to the chorus of affected drivers and agree, "This isn't fair."
Fair or not, it is what it is. I could stretch this article into a book and still do little more than scratch the surface of the subject. The larger point is that once this has happened, you need to take action. There is no magic phone number to call. I can list examples all day of things that have gone demonstrably wrong, where my client has seemingly "made arrangements" with the interlock company before changing a battery, or having work done on his or her car, and even where the mechanic has followed up with a call to the interlock company, only to wind up getting a "tamper/circumvent" violation anyway. For all of that, here is an actual real life best (or maybe worst) case example that illustrates how utterly broken the state's system really is, and how unnecessarily difficult it was to win:
My client noticed that his interlock handset continued to display a message ("drive safely") even after he turned the car off. Not wanting to run into trouble, he took the car to the interlock service provider to have it looked at. When he got there, he was informed that it was kind of his "lucky day," because the manufacturer (Draeger) had one of it's representatives in from Texas to help train the staff at the local facility. Needless to say, he handed over his car confidently. Likewise, a few hours later he drove it out of the shop every bit as confidently, having been given a receipt for his service indicating everything was in good working order.
Weeks later, after we had already filed for restoration of his full license, he received an ignition interlock violation notice for a "tamper/circumvent" occasioned by about a 4 minute power loss while the interlock company and the manufacturer's rep had his car. How could this be? We quickly arranged to have this violation heard with his full license hearing, figuring that the receipt showing that the interlock company had his car (fortunately, it showed the time his car was brought in and the time it was returned to him) when the power loss took place would be good enough. The receipt even had an embossed seal, making it indisputably "official."
The hearing officer wasn't satisfied with just that. I almost pulled my hair out, wondering what more he could want or we could get, insisting that we had proof that my client's car was in the interlock provider's possession when the violation occurred. The hearing officer didn't disagree with that, but replied that he had an interlock violation where, to use his exact words, a "backyard mechanic" had disconnected his unit for a few minutes and rigged things up so that when it went back on, he could provide breath samples whenever requested, with the machine having been altered in a way that it could not detect alcohol and would provide "zero" readings even after he had been drinking. I countered that what some devious guy did in his backyard was one thing, but that I doubted that the interlock company, with the manufacturer's rep on site, was going to do that to my client's car. The hearing officer insisted, however, that since the power loss was reported to the state, the manufacturer should have separately notified the state that it was responsible. While I agreed that perhaps the company should have done that, I argued that whatever it did or did not do, my client had proof that he didn't do anything to his unit...