Some DWI offenders in Minnesota who have had their license suspended may be eligible for a limited license that allows them to drive under certain restrictions. One such restriction is the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) on each vehicle the offender owns and operates on a regular basis. IIDs are commonly used penalties in drunken driving cases across the country. However, as Minnesota is one of the last states to enact legislation regarding this technology, it is not yet a required penalty as part of a DWI conviction.
An IID is a small handheld breath testing device that is installed into the steering column of a car. It requires an individual to provide a sober breath sample before starting the ignition. Random breath samples will also be required periodically while the car is in motion to prevent a sober friend from starting the vehicle. Failure to provide a sample, or if a sample over a certain BAC level (typically .03) is given, an alarm will sound to encourage the driver to pull over. The BAC reading will be stored and sent to the proper authorities. BAC results over the allowed limit will result in the revocation of the limited license. For safety reasons, the device will never immobilize the vehicle.
IID's are installed at designated ignition interlock service centers. The DUI offender is responsible for the cost of installation as well as the monthly payments that are required. Attempts to tamper or circumvent the IID will result in imposition of further penalties and revocation of the limited license.
Judges may allow a DUI defendant holding a limited license to use a car without an IID device that is owned by their employer and operated in the scope of employment. In such situations, judges typically require a letter, signed by the employer acknowledging that they have been informed of the IID requirment, to be kept in the car's vehicle at all times.
Fifth or more Offense:
For more information on ignition interlock devices and limited licenses, contact Brent S. Schafer at Schafer Law Firm, 612-940-0129.