Being convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) in Minnesota can be a terrifying experience. This type of conviction can lead to serious penalties, especially if it’s a felony. Some people even spend time in jail for a DWI.
Even if you avoid jail time with your DWI conviction, you still stand to lose your license – which can be inconvenient and devastating to your ability to live and work. Fortunately, sometimes instead of losing your license, you can keep your driving privileges with the help of an ignition interlock device (IID).
What is this device, and how does it work? Read on to discover more.
Ignition Interlock Device: What Is It?
An IID is a device that sits under the dashboard or console of your car. It is connected to a tube that is within reach of the steering wheel. When you want to start your car, you must first blow into the tube and hum for a designated amount of time. If the device doesn’t detect alcohol, then the car will start.
As you drive the car, you must blow into the tube every 15 minutes. These are referred to as “rolling tests.” They make it more difficult for the driver to work around the device and drink once they have started the car.
Many of the devices also take photos of the driver as they are blowing into the device. This helps hold the driver accountable and discourage them from asking someone else to do the test for them.
The Cost of an Ignition Interlock Device
A judge maybe order an IID to be placed on your car as a part of your DWI conviction. This is done to help you retain some driving privileges for important things such as work or school.
However, this device is not given freely to you. You usually have to pay somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 to have the device installed on your car and then up to $5.00 per day to use it. That cost will depend on the vendor.
When Are You Eligible for an Ignition Interlock Device?
The state of Minnesota runs an Ignition Interlock Program. In this program, first-time offenders with a blood alcohol content of 0.16 or second-time DWI offenders are offered this alternative to help them maintain some driving privileges. This program offers offenders a limited driving license instead of having their license completely revoked for their DWI.
There are requirements to enter Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Program. Those who wish to participate and are eligible must:
- Show they paid a reinstatement fee for their driver’s license
- Show that they are old enough to participate, as someone over age 18
- Show that they applied for a new Class D license or new instruction permit
- Show they have valid automobile insurance for at least 12 months
- Have a vehicle on which this device can be installed, such as a car, truck, or van
There are other things that must be done to ensure proper application to the program. An experienced DWI attorney in Minnesota can help you navigate what must be done.
If anyone else will be driving the vehicle, they must also be trained in using the device and pass the tests just as you would. You also must complete all paperwork for the program through the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.