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Special test reportedly helps prevent drunk driving in Michigan

New technology allows a Breathalyzer test mechanism to be connected to the ignition system of an automobile. Michigan drivers who have repeatedly been convicted of drunk driving have participated in the new program by having the Breathalyzer system installed in their vehicles, then breathing into the device before driving and at intermittent points while traveling. The data registered upon test performance is saved to a computer chip which is then uploaded for review by court officials.

An alarm that sounds while driving signals a driver when it is time to take another test. Michigan judges began ordering use of the portable breath test in 2011 for those with multiple DUI convictions. Analyses of the program produced results showing that participants are three times less likely to commit a further DUI offense compared to other repeat offenders who were not using the devices.

A recent report stated that some convicted offenders suffer from diseases, such as mental illness or alcoholism, and the device serves as a form of treatment. Advocates of the program say that the new monitoring devices are saving lives and alleviating a huge backlog of criminal court cases. Spokesmen from Mothers Against Drunk Driving stated that each device costs $70-150 to be installed and another approximately $75 per month in upkeep and maintenance.

A Michigan driver accused of drunk driving might have questions about whether he or she might be required to install a similar device in his or her vehicle. Those accused might also have concerns about impending court proceedings or options that might be available with regard to defending oneself against DUI charges. Contacting a criminal law attorney in the area would most likely lead to clarification of these and other issues pertaining to drunk driving laws and criminal trials in relation to charges of driving while intoxicated. 

Source: mlive.com, "Michigan ignition breathalyzer pilot study for DUI violators shows system works", Gus Burns, May 21, 2015

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