Safety & traffic officials from accross Minnesota are meeting to consider a number of new initiatives to fight impaired driving, among them the possibility of requiring ingition interlock devices for DWI convictions.
An ignition interlock device is a “mobile breathalyzer” that won’t allow a person’s car to start unless he or she provides a breath test sample without any alcohol.
Currently, these devices are used in a pilot program in Hennepin county. Under the program, a person convicted of a second offense DWI with a BAC result over .20% ( 2 1/2 times the legal limit of .08) is eligible to have one of these devicees installed after 60 days, instead of a full 180 day license suspension.
Nationwide, most states currently have laws that require the use of an ignition interlock in order to get a drivers license reinstated after two or even a single drunk driving conviction. Some states have an interlock restriction that is also dependant on a high blood alcohol content test result in a DWI case.
Organizations like MADD have strongly advocated for a mandatory interlock after any 1st offense DWI, which is now the law in Arizona and soon to be adopted in Illinois. Others take a more measured approach, and suggest that is it more reasonable and less punitive in cases of multiple offenses, breath test refusals, or a high BAC result such as .15% or higher. A person with a high level of impairment is much more likely to be a chronic alcoholic then someone who may have made a one time mistake with a .08%, or was forced to plead guilty because of driver’s license considerations.
Interlock devices are considered a good alternative to lengthly license suspensions, which can be extremely destructive and disruptive to a persons ability to earn a living. They allows for protection and public safety from convicted drunk drivers.
If you are accused of a MN DWI, or any criminal charge in the state of Minnesota, please contact our attorneys for a free legal case evaluation.