On July 1, 2011, Minnesota now requires the use of an ignition interlock device for all DWI offenders who test at or above a .16 BAC or those who have prior DWI convictions or license revocations within the past ten years.
What is igntion interlock?
The ignition interlock device sits under the console or dashboard of your car and is connected to a blow tube that looks very much like a cell phone. To start the car equipped with an ignition interlock device, the driver must blow into the tube and hum for a certain period of time. If there is no alcohol detected from the driver's breath, the car's ignition will start and is ready for use. However, the driver is not done blowing. As the car is being driven, the device prompts the driver to blow into the tube every 15 minutes. These repeated blows are commonly known as "rolling tests" which make it harder for the driver to cheat the device. Minnesota devices require a camera to take pictures of the driver blowing into the device at these 15 minute intervals. While not perfect, these devices are certainly here to stay and preliminary research indicates that recidivism is less than 10 percent.
HOW MUCH DOES THE IGNITION INTERLOCK COST?
The ignition interlock device requires a minimum $90 installation fee plus a $3-5 per day fee while in use, depending on which vendor is used.