What Is an Ignition Interlock System and When Is It Used?

The Ignition Interlock Device is an in-car Breathalyzer that, when used correctly, prevents drunk drivers from driving. The Ignition Interlock system is a device installed near the steering wheel that is about the size of a hand-held calculator and includes a blowing tube. The driver must blow into the tube before starting the vehicle and if the alcohol concentration level after the driver blows into the tube is above a certain limit, the device will prevent the vehicle from starting. The device is installed near the steering wheel and connected to the engine.

When Is the Ignition Interlock Device Used?

The Minnesota Interlock Device program is an optional way for first-time DUI offenders with an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or above and second-time alcohol offenders to regain their driving privileges.

The program is mandatory for drivers whose licenses were cancelled or whose privileges were denied as “inimical to public safety.” These drivers 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.

Is the Ignition Interlock Device Program Appropriate for You?

In order to qualify for the Ignition Interlock Device program, you must meet the following qualifications:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Own/drive an eligible vehicle with valid insurance (no motorcycles, mopeds, or commercial vehicles)
    • Have no outstanding withdrawals which would prohibit the issuance of a limited or full license
    • Go to the Deputy Registrar to purchase special plates if license plates have been impounded
    • Must have no existing withdrawals in any other state
    • If driving privilege was revoked prior to age 18, must not be subject to Vanessa’s Law
    • If driving privilege was withdrawn prior to July 1, 2011, must sign Waiver of Rights which can be obtained by contacting Driver and Vehicle Services

If you have been convicted of a DWI, the Ignition Interlock Device program may be an option for you. Since repeat DWI offenders face one year license revocation, and work permits are not always available, the Ignition Interlock Device program may be a way for a DWI offender to save his or her job.

Unlike a restricted license or “work permit,” which only allows DWI offenders to drive to certain places, such as work, school, treatment programs, AA meetings, and other necessary locations, the Ignition Interlock Device program will allow you to drive legally, anytime and anywhere. Moreover, whereas obtaining a work permit can take some time to obtain, the Ignition Interlock Device program is available for use immediately.

Contact a Minneapolis Criminal Defense Lawyer

A Minnesota DWI defense attorney can help you eliminate or reduce penalties and/or regain driving privileges. Minneapolis DWI law firm of Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys has the experience you need to defend your case, protect your legal rights, and minimize the potential DWI penalties. We are familiar with a number of specific issues pertaining to Minnesota DWI charges, including ignition interlock, license plate impoundment, vehicle forfeiture and job loss due to DWI.

If you are facing DWI charges, contact the Minneapolis criminal defense law firm of Keller Criminal Defense Attorneys at (952) 913-1421 today to learn more about the Ignition Interlock Device program.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.