DUI offenders regain driving privileges through interlock devices

Ignition interlock devices come with certain requirements and help DUI offenders to regain their driving privileges.

People who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol in Minnesota, run the risk of getting their drivers licenses revoked. When this occurs, people are forced to find other forms of transportation to get to work, school and other activities. There may be a way, however, for certain DUI offenders to regain their driving privileges. According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, first-time offenders who had a blood alcohol level of at least 0.16 percent and people who have received their second DUI can participate in the ignition interlock device program.

What are ignition interlock devices?

Interlock devices are small breath test machines that are wired directly into the vehicle's ignition system. In order to start the car and keep in going, the driver must blow into a tube that is connected to a dashboard monitor. The machine then determines the driver's blood alcohol content level by evaluating the breath sample for the presence of alcohol. If the breath sample is clear, the car will start. Periodically during the drive, the machine will alert the driver to submit another breath sample, which must be clear in order to keep the car going.

If the driver blows a breath sample that is over the preset limit of 0.02 percent when trying to start the vehicle, the car will lockup for five minutes. The driver must then provide a clean breath test within 10 minutes or else the device will record the startup attempt as a violation.

Application and maintenance

In order to be eligible for the program, the driver must have a vehicle that has current and valid insurance. The driver must also be at least 18-years-old. A completed application form, passed DWI knowledge test and $680 fee is also required to be admitted into the program.

Once the ignition interlock device is installed, drivers must take their vehicles in for an IID service appointment every 30 to 60 days, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. During the appointment, the machine is calibrated and all of the information regarding vehicle lockouts, attempted startups and BAC levels is transmitted to officials.

Obtaining legal representation

If you have been charged with a DUI in Minnesota, you can face serious long-term consequences. Convicted DUI offenders may find it hard to get a job in certain areas of employment, and could have problems when it comes to applying for financial assistance or obtaining a driver's license. You may want to speak to an attorney who has experience handling DUI cases. A lawyer may be able to answer your questions and point you in the right direction when it comes to defending your legal rights.