random retest

Random Retest Missed In Michigan, BAIID

The random retest sometimes called a “rolling retest,” is a breath alcohol test for people who have a restricted license which requires a breath alcohol ignition interlock device (BAIID) installed in their automobile. The random test is a test that will happen after the driver performs a “Start-up” test. Most BAIID manufacturers disclose that a random test will occur within fifteen minutes of the start-up test. This test is often called a rolling retest because the driver is operating the automobile when the BAIID requires a test. The driver blows into the device while they are rolling down the road. Many drivers miss these tests. Unfortunately, this is considered a major violation and the Michigan Secretary of State can reinstate the driver’s license revocation. R 357.01a. Below are some common situations for a random retest failure.

Leaving The Car Running When a Random Retest Is Initiated

In this situation, the driver steps out of the car and leaves the car running. While the driver is out of the car, a random retest is initiated. The driver has about six minutes to provide a clean breath sample. If the driver doesn’t provide a sample in that time frame, the BAIID records a violation or test failure. The best way to avoid this test failure is to never leave the car running and unattended. In the winter many people leave their cars running to keep the automobile warm. Likewise, many people start up their car in the driveway, return to the warmth, and allow the car to warm up. In both of these situations, the driver with a BAIID installed is asking for trouble and flirting with a random retest failure.

Shut Off the Car At The Same Time As a Random Retest Is Initiated

When an automobile with a BAIID installed is shut off, the BAIID starts a timer, usually three minutes. This time is the period in which the driver may restart the car without providing a new “start-up” test. After the time expires, the driver will have to provide a new “start-up” blow to start the automobile. Many of my clients have told me that their BAIID malfunctions if there is a random retest initiated at the same time as the vehicle is shut off. “The machine didn’t make a noise, it usually beeps loudly for a random retest.” There may very well be a minor delay from the initiation of the random retest and the moment that the installed BAIID prompts the driver to take a test. Or maybe the BAIID can only process one command at a time. What may happen is the driver shuts off the car at the same time as a random test is initiated. The driver looks at the unit and sees the normal clock running, decides all is well, and exits the vehicle. Little do they know that the BAIID has requested a retest. When the driver returns to the car, they notice a problem due to the random test failure. The best way to avoid this retest failure is to never exit the vehicle until the three-minute clock expires. It very well could be that the BAIID unit displays the restart timer, and then the prompts for the random test appear after.


After a random retest failure, the driver inevitably enters into a panic. Usually, the first call they make is to the provider that installed the BAIID unit. The car may be locked out and incapable of being started. My clients have told me that their providers will say, “Don’t worry, we can take care of this.” What the provider is really saying is we can send your BAIID a code so you may restart and use your vehicle. Make no mistake about it, a BAIID provider can not wash away a violation. A provider that unilaterally amends the BAIID records will quickly be ousted from the Secretary of State program. Once the BAIID is downloaded, a report is generated and sent to the Secretary of State. It is the Secretary of State that decides what action will follow. Prompt action is necessary by the driver to preserve their restricted driver’s license.

What Does a Driver Have to Do After a Retest Failure

I charge $250.00 to provide emergency advice to people after a random retest failure. Do not call me unless you are willing to pay my fee over the phone. The advice I will give you will require the driver to stop what they are doing and immediately follow my instructions.

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