The ignition interlock device is a machine that measures the blood-alcohol concentration of an individual before they can start their car. In order to use the device, the driver has to blow into a small tube. If they pass the test, they can start the car. If they fail the test, the car will not start and they may have to face criminal charges.
The implementation of this device is the result of a change in DWI laws in Minnesota in 2011. While it offers a way in which offenders can get behind the wheel sooner, it is also problematic in some ways.
The very first time a person is arrested for DWI with a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or above, he or she may be allowed to keep driving if they submit to having an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. In other cases, the use of the device may be court ordered for a specific period of time after the defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty.
The state requires that the offender pays for the set up and the rental of the device and these costs can be very high. There is also a degree of embarrassment associated with the device because it has to be used before the driver can start the car. There are even some devices that now take photographs of the driver and the device may request a test from the driver while they are in motion.
If a test is required while in motion, then the driver must pull over to do so. The device must also be maintained and checked at specific times at the defendant’s expense. There is nothing free about the device since it is an optional way in which a defendant can drive again.
While there are some issues that are associated with the use of an ignition interlock device, there are some DWI defendants in Minnesota who find it attractive due to the fact it allows them to keep driving even while they are being prosecuted for suspected DWI. Prior to the creation of the implementation of this device, most defendants had to deal with license suspension or revocation, which meant they could not drive at all. Considering that driving is a need for a majority of people, the ignition interlock device becomes the most sensible solution and the only solution that a DWI defendant has. That is unless their case is one in which their DWI attorney can fight for their right to drive, even if it is just the right to drive back and forth to work or school.
DWI defendants are encouraged to fight for their rights because the devices are in no way perfect just as no device is. You may find that you are opening yourself up to even more charges. The device could fail and all of a sudden you find yourself facing more criminal charges. That failure would have to be proven, but your attorney has the experience to do this so you are not held liable for something that is not your fault.