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Minnesota DWI Law | What is ignition interlock and how does it affect my DWI?

If you have been arrested for DWI in Minnesota, you may or may not be aware of the state’s Ignition Interlock program.

In Minnesota, most people facing an alcohol related loss of license from a DWI case, can participate in the ignition interlock program. But for some drivers, ignition interlock is the only choice available to get back to driving while the revocation is in place.  Those would be: first-time alcohol offenders with an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or above and all second-time alcohol offenders have the option of regaining their driving privileges by participating in the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Device Program

Minnesota DWI defense attorney Gerald Miller and his team are here to help you navigate your options – including ignition interlock – following a DWI arrest. Call us today at 612-440-4610. Contact us anytime. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind.

 What is Ignition Interlock?

The Ignition Interlock Device Program is designed for public safety by giving the people arrested for DWI the option of having an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. The device is the size of a hand-held calculator and includes a blowing tube. It prevents your vehicle from starting if it detects a certain alcohol concentration level after you blow into the tube. The device is installed near the steering wheel and connected to the engine.

Drivers whose licenses are canceled and whose privileges are denied as are required to enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program for a period of three to six years in order to regain full driving privileges.  

How Does the Ignition Interlock Device Program Apply to Me?

If this is your first or second time being arrested for DWI, there are three required steps to get your driver’s license back:

  1. Pass the DWI knowledge test, pay a $680 reinstatement fee and apply for a new driver’s license at a driver’s license exam station.
  2. Sign the special review form (required if this is a second offense).
  3. Apply for special registration license plates (required for a first offense with a 0.16 or higher alcohol-concentration level, or for second or more offense).

Once you have completed those three steps, you can begin the process to drive immediately with ignition interlock. The process includes:

– Obtain an insurance certificate from your insurance company for the vehicle, which will be equipped with an ignition interlock device.

– Sign an ignition interlock participation agreement available on MinnesotaIgnitionInterlock.org.

– Submit interlock participant agreement, test fees, insurance certificate and other required documents to Driver and Vehicle Services.

– Install an ignition interlock device.

– Apply for special registration license plates if license plates were impounded.

If you have had more than three DWI arrests within 10 years, or have four or more alcohol-related arrests on your record, you will lose your driver’s license and be required to install an ignition interlock in your vehicle. In this case, there are several, often complicated steps that must be finished before you can get your license reinstated. Usually there is an added condition of complying with a chemical health assessment prior to being approved for the interlock device and program. If this is the case, let us help you. Minnesota DWI defense lawyer Gerald Miller and his team can help defend your case and your rights. We may be able to get your charges reduced, depending on the circumstances of your case. 

The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller, PA handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide. We can help you and your teenager put a Minnesota DWI arrest to rest – and protect their right to drive. 

 What Benefit Does the Ignition Interlock Program Offer Me?

For you, the benefit of the Ignition Interlock Device Program offers you a way to obtain a driver’s license after having yours revoked due to the DWI arrest. It allows people to drive anytime, anywhere while they are under their period of revocation. Unlike the limited license that some offenders are allowed to use, the ignition interlock is a full-privilege license (again, unless you are a cancelled-IPS driver, those drivers have different requirements).

It also diminishes the probability and possibility of repeat DWI. The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation reports interlock devices can reduce repeat DWI offenses on average 64 percent. 

And lastly, the Minnesota Legislature has created an exception to the mandatory sentencing guidelines for DWI’s if someone was to install ignition interlock. It can be found in Minn. Stat. 169A.275, subd. 7. So, if you were facing 30-90 days of mandatory jail time, an argument can be made to forgive that time if you are on interlock for the duration of probation.  

Can an Ignition Interlock Device be Installed on My Motorcycle, Boat or ATV?

The simple answer: no. The Department of Public Safety currently does not allow an interlock device to be installed on these types of vehicles. Frankly, here are some reasons why that may be the case, and why it is not allowed: 

– An ignition interlock device would be exposed to the elements – dust, wind, and rain – which could damage it.

– Ignition interlock devices are not designed to withstand the vibration of motorcycles, boats and ATVs.

– Lack of secure storage would be an issue.

– An ignition interlock devices could easily drain the battery on a motorcycle and ATV. 

– You would not be able to hear the auditory warning for a rolling retest while riding a motorcycle, boat or ATV.

– A rolling retest absolutely could not be performed while driving a motorcycle, boat or ATV.

If you were cited for DWI on your motorcycle, boat, ATV, car, truck or any other vehicle, call the Minneapolis DWI attorney Gerald Miller at 612-440-3864. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and begin defending your case. Your first consultation is free so call now.

About Gerald Miller, P.A.

Were you or someone you love arrested for DWI? The process can be worrisome – or even frightening. There is a lot of legal jargon to weave through and court dates to attend.

You’re not alone. We can help, whether it’s your first DWI or if you’ve been convicted in the past. 

If you are facing a Minnesota DWI conviction, the experienced Minneapolis DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller, P.A. will review your case and determine the best course of action. We will guide you through the process, working toward a positive outcome no matter the circumstances of the arrest. Our firm has a high success rate. We’ve fought cases all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court. We dig into every aspect of the case, from the time of the arrest the officer’s actions to the accuracy of your Breathalyzer test.

What makes Gerald Miller different from other Minnesota criminal defense lawyers?

The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide, but we have focused on DWIs for nearly 40 years. A DWI affects your driving ability, your finances, and your professional reputation. Don’t let one mistake negatively impact your future.

We have earned dozens of positive Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. Our firm is widely recognized throughout the Twin Cities for our professionalism, compassion, knowledge, and dedication both in and out of the courtroom. The Minneapolis DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller DWI Law Firm are respected by our peers, colleagues, judges, and prosecutors. We have earned national awards and accolades from the American Bar Association, The National Trial Lawyers, the American Institute of DWI/DUI Attorneys, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the National Academy for DUI Defense, and more. 

Gerald Miller, P.A. also has received the elite “SuperLawyer” distinction by Thomson Reuters. 

Legal Counsel is Critical to Success

The sooner you contact us, the faster we can start protecting your rights.  Even if your case cannot be dismissed, the charges may be reduced, which is a positive outcome. First-time offenders have a stronger chance than repeat offenders to see their charges reduced or dismissed. Some prosecutors will consider reducing a DWI charge to careless driving if the defendant has no prior offenses, a BAC under 0.10, and a good driving record. It also helps if you were cooperative at the time of your arrest and if you followed the court’s requirements prior to your hearing, including completing an alcohol assessment and/or DWI classes.

Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation at 612-430-6743. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope, and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind. Visit www.geraldmillerlawyer.com or check us out on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

About the author

Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller is a top-notch and experienced DWI/DUI lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. He has more than 35 years of experience in Criminal Defense practice. He has also been a mentor to numerous DUI/DWI defense attorneys.

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