DWI Ignition Interlock Device In Minnesota
All people whose alcohol concentration was 0.16 percent or greater at the time of the offense are required to participate in the ignition interlock in order to drive. The same is true for many repeat offenders regardless of their alcohol concentration.
An “ignition interlock device” is a device which requires a driver to provide a breath sample before driving and is designed to prevent a vehicle’s ignition from starting when the machine detects an alcohol concentration that exceeds 0.02 percent. Minn. Stat. § 171.305, subds.. 1, 3.
The Commissioner of Public Safety will issue driving privileges to a person whose license has been revoked for repeat impaired driving incidents if the individual agrees to all of the conditions of the ignition interlock program. Minn. Stat. § 171.306, subd. 3(a). Such privileges only authorize a person to drive vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock devices. Minn. Stat. § 171.306, subd. 3(b). It is a misdemeanor crime for the individual involved in this program to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle that is not properly equipped with an ignition interlock device. Minn. Stat. § 171.306, subd. 3(f).
In some cases a person can operate employer-owned vehicles (whether equipped with an ignition interlock device or not) while in the normal course and scope of employment duties with the employer’s written consent.
Additionally, under Minn. Stat. § 169A.275, subd. 7, a defendant is not subject to mandatory DWI jail sentences if, as a condition of probation, he or she is permitted to only drive motor vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Ignition interlock may not be an option for individuals who have been revoked for with certain offenses (criminal vehicular homicide or a conviction for a traffic offense involving death, for instance).
If you have questions about whether or not someone can participate in an ignition interlock program contact an experienced attorney.