A Minnesota news report this week notes that state lawmakers are considering legislation requiring DWI offenders to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in their vehicles. Mandatory in many states for multiple DWI offenders, ignition interlock devices are designed to stop people with DWI convictions from driving drunk again.
According to the report from WDAY TV, 1 in 8 Minnesotans have a drunk driving offense on their record, and it is the most preventable cause of death in the state.
Currently, the bills are going through committees and haven’t made it to the Senate or House floors. When they do we will get a better idea of how the IID’s will be used. Most states with ignition interlock requirements have opted to only use it on repeat DWI offenders while others use it more freely, even on first time DWI convictions.
An ignition interlock device is a lock device installed on your vehicle that prevents you being able to start your car until you have taken a breath test. Most IID’s then periodically require a breath test while you are driving. Despite their wide use, the IID’s aren’t without their issues.
Problems frequently occur with the devices. From false positives to malfunctions, the driver is often stuck dealing with the after effects. In most states the installation and maintenance costs of an IID are the responsibility of the driver as well.
DWI laws in the state are fairly strict as it is. A first time drunk driving offense is typically charged as a 4th degree DWI. This charge is considered a misdemeanor but can carry up to 90 days in jail. If your blood alcohol content is greater than .20% at the time of your arrest, however, the charge is elevated to a 3rd degree DWI with a potential 1 year in jail.
When facing DWI charges, whether now or after the ignition interlock laws pass, you need a local defense lawyer on your side advocating for your interests. Call today to discuss your charges and how we can work together for a better outcome.