A recent Minnesota drunk driving case noted that the repeat offender was operating his vehicle on a license that had been canceled as “inimical to public safety.” If you’re like most people, chances are you have no idea what that phrase means or in what circumstances it is applied to drunk driving offenders. To find out more about what inimical to public safety refers to, keep reading.
What does “inimical to public safety” mean?
Inimical to public safety is a label that refers to those drivers in Minnesota who have been found to be unable to safety control their vehicle without presenting a serious danger to others. Licenses that are canceled as inimical to public safety occur when that the driver has been deemed to pose too great a risk to others to allow him or her to continue driving.
When is a license canceled as inimical to public safety?
Are licenses in Minnesota canceled as inimical to public safety after a first offense? Rarely, if ever. In Minnesota, most licenses canceled as inimical to public safety happen after a person’s third DWI conviction. According to Minnesota law, a driver with a third DWI offense on his or her record will have his or her license canceled as inimical to public safety. This means that unless the person follows certain rules or receives certain treatment, their license will never be reinstated. For a third offense, a driver must go three years with an ignition interlock system and no detected alcohol or drug use before applying to have his or her license reinstated. This three-year period will include one year of a limited license with an ignition interlock restriction, and another two years of ignition interlock use after treatment has been completed.
Those with four or more DWI offenses will also have their licenses canceled as inimical to public safety. Even if following all the rules, the period of license revocation will last between four and six years, and only be reinstated after treatment and years of demonstrated alcohol-free driving.
Why does the state cancel licenses as inimical to public safety?
The reason is that many lawmakers believe it is very hard to get those with serious alcohol abuse problems to simply stop drinking. Rather than hope the drivers with problems simply stop; the law is designed to withhold their licenses until they can make strides towards proving they are no longer a danger to others. The numbers reveal the problems posed by this small group of repeat offenders: While only 10 percent of those Minnesotans who receive a first DWI will go on to get a second, 60 percent of those who get a second DWI will go on to get a third. This group of serious reoffenders has been singled out for special punishment and been given high bars that must be cleared before licenses will be reinstated.
Source: “DWI Consequences,” published at DPS.MN.gov.