Minnesota, like all other states, has strict laws when it comes to drunk driving. Of course, any person could make a mistake and get behind the wheel after having one too many. It is also possible for officers to arrest a person even though his or her blood alcohol concentration level was below the legal limit. In either case, it is important that you know your rights and options.
The state has strengthened DWI sanctions that work to reduce drunk driving accidents while also allowing individuals arrested and convicted for DWI to have a way to retain their driving privileges. Among those sanctions is the use of ignition interlock devices.
When is such a device required?
The court could decide that you need to install an ignition interlock device under the following circumstances:
- If the situation is your first DWI arrest but your BAC was twice the legal limit, the court may require you to use an ignition interlock device to regain driving privileges.
- If the situation is your second DWI, the court may require you to use the device.
- In either of the above situations, if you choose not to use the device, you could lose your license and driving privileges altogether for one to two years.
- If you have three or more DWI offenses within a 10-year span, the court could require you to use an interlock device for three to six years.
- After three or more offenses in 10 years, the court could permanently revoke driving privileges if you do not agree to use the device.
Typically, if drivers have the ability to use an ignition interlock device and agree to do so, they can begin driving again immediately. However, it is important to note that these devices require a BAC level of less than .02% before the vehicle will start. Additionally, the device requires retests periodically while the vehicle is in motion to prevent a person from starting a vehicle and then drinking afterward.
What is in your future?
Whether an ignition interlock device or other consequence could relate to your case will depend wholly on the specific details. Facing an arrest for suspected DWI does not automatically mean you are guilty, and with a meaningful defense, you may have the ability to avoid a conviction and the possibility of punishment altogether. Of course, in efforts to do so, you may want to gain reliable information on the options that apply to your case.