You've probably never heard of Minnesota's Alcohol Ignition Interlock Program but if convicted of a DWI, enrollment may be required to avoid losing all driving privileges.
What is the Minnesota interlock program?
The program gets its name from the ignition interlock device which is about the size of a hand-held calculator. This device is cabled to your vehicle and requires would-be drivers to provide a satisfactory breath sample before they can start the ignition. The device includes a small tube and if the breath sample records a failure the vehicle will not start. If your test is a failure, you will be required to provide another test. Failure of this second test will be recorded.
Who is required to enroll in the interlock program?
If your license has been canceled or your driving privileges have been denied as “inimical to public safety,” you will be required to enroll in theIgnition Interlock Device Program for a period of three to six years in order to restore your driving privileges. There are many requirements for you to be enrolled in the interlock program.
If you are a first-time DWI offender with an alcohol concentration of .16 or higher or if this is your second offense, you also have the option to enroll in the program.
Why would you voluntarily enroll in the program?
If your license has been revoked as part of a DWI conviction, participation in the interlock program can partially restore your driving privileges.
If you were convicted of your first offense, you can attain a restricted license. You will not be able to drive for 15 days after the license revocation occurs and the ignition interlock device will be installed for one year. Once the device is installed, you will be allowed to drive but you must drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device. The length of the device's installation increases with subsequent offenses.
What costs are associated with the program?
If you are convicted of a DWI you will likely need to pay fines and a license reinstatement fee. In addition to these expenses, the interlock program generally carries other fees.
If you have been charged with a DWI, or if you have been cancelled as inimical to public safety, and you would like to learn more about rights and options, you need experienced legal counsel. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.