In my role as a Michigan driver's license restoration lawyer, I handle a lot of ignition interlock violation cases. While I am glad to be able to help a person who winds up in a violation situation, I cannot get past the fact that most interlock violations could have been avoided in the first place. I get no delight in taking someone's money because he or she stumbled into a predicament by accident or oversight. In this article, I want to remind the reader that the Michigan Secretary of State's Administrative Hearing Section (or AHS, and until recently known as the DAAD) provides a "Notice of Proper Interlock Use" form along with the order granting back your restricted license, and that you absolutely should read that form, then read it again and do as it instructs.
Ignition interlock violations are a huge pain. I have examined them in various other blog articles as well as in the specific interlock violation section of my website. The sad irony here is that as much as I want this article to be a guide to preventing a violation from occurring, many readers will come upon it after a violation has already happened. When it occurs, you will be formally notified of an interlock violation by the Secretary of State in a letter that also tells you your license will be revoked all over again in a few days. The language used here can take a few minutes to figure out, because the technical term for a re-revocation is "reinstatement of original action," the "original action" being the initial revocation of your driver's license. The worst aspect of this notice is that the action has already been taken. There is no way to stop it; you can't just call someone to straighten things out. The only thing you can do is file an appeal within 14 days to schedule a hearing so that you can try to win your license back - again. If you do not appeal, your license will remain revoked and you will have to start all over again from scratch.
Worse yet, if you don't appeal the violation, you will essentially "confirm" that the allegations against you are true. Even if you do appeal, you have to win, and the Secretary of State is very tough on violations. I'd be less than honest if I didn't point out that they have gotten even tougher in recent years, in part because they try hard to point out to people how to avoid these situations in the first place, and also because so many people show up confessing that they didn't exactly read the Notice of Proper Interlock Use. As I noted at the outset of this article, the notice comes attached to the order granting your original driver's license restoration appeal. On the flip side, it is difficult to say that you actually read it when you didn't do what it so clearly instructs. Let's take a look at the exact form the Secretary of State Provides: