What is the Ignition Interlock Device Program?
As of July 1st, 2011, Minnesota DUI law now says that all first time offenders with a BAC above 0.16 percent (twice the state’s legal limit) as well as all second time offenders be given the option of using an ignition interlock device to restore their driving privileges sooner.
The Ignition Interlock Device Program works by granting drivers a restricted driver’s license rather than simply revoking the license for a longer amount of time, an important benefit for those who need their vehicles to get to and from work, school or to pick up their children. Rather than being totally denied the ability to drive, the IID program allows Minnesotans to continue to function in a more or less normal fashion.
So what is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock device is a small piece of equipment that is installed on a person’s car to monitor the driver’s blood alcohol level. The IID is installed somewhere near the steering wheel and is connected by professional installers to the car’s engine. The device works by requiring the driver (whether it’s the convicted drunk driver or any other family member driving the car that day) to blow into the device so that BAC can be determined. Minnesota ignition interlock devices have also been designed to randomly collect samples of the air while the vehicle is in motion; something designed to avoid attempts to fool the system by having a sober driver blow into the IID to start the car. Any violations are recorded by the device electronically and reported to the Department of Public Safety during the next monthly service visit.
What kind of cars can it be installed on?
The ignition interlock device can be installed on any car, pickup truck or van that is operated with a regular Class D license that requires no additional endorsements. However, it’s important to note that ignition interlock device cannot be installed on rented vehicles, vehicles determined to be recreational, motorcycles or scooters.
How do I join the IID program?
If you would like to participate in Minnesota’s IID program so that you can receive a restricted license and begin driving again, you must meet certain requirements. First, you must have valid insurance on the vehicle where the ignition interlock device will be installed. Second, you must pass a DWI knowledge test administered by the state. Third, you must complete an application to receive a new restricted driver’s license. Fourth, you must pay a $680 reinstatement fee and hold on to the receipt. Fifth, you need to fill out the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Program Participation Agreement and send all required documents to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Finally, schedule an appointment with one of the state’s approved IID vendors and have the interlock device installed on your vehicle.
How long do you have to use an ignition interlock device?
The length of time a person will be enrolled in the IID program depends entirely on the number of prior DUI offenses on your record as well as your level of intoxication at the time of your arrest. When you first sign up for the IID program you will be given information about the maximum time you will be required to participate. This time can be extended if you are found to violate any of the program’s rules.
Call Our Minneapolis, Minnesota DWI Defense Attorneys
If you or someone that you know suddenly has found themselves facing the prospect of either having to submit to Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Program or losing their license for a significant period of time, it is important to reach out to our outstanding DUI defense team. We can review with you your potential defenses and options. Douglas Kans has been practicing in the area of drunk driving defense for almost 19 years and he and his esteemed staff are ready to help.
Source: “Minnesota Igntion Interlock Device Program,” published at DPS.MN.gov.