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Ignition Interlock

Last updated on January 18, 2023

An ignition interlock device is mandatory for all Minnesota DWI offenders who test at a .16 percent blood alcohol concentration or higher and all Minnesota DWI offenders who have a prior DWI conviction or alcohol license revocation within the past 10 years. Refer to the chart below. The ignition interlock program originally started as a pilot project in Hennepin and Beltrami counties. Due to the success of these pilot programs, the Legislature made the move to mandatory programs in all Minnesota counties. At the time of the pilot project, Minnesota was one of five states that did not use the ignition interlock device in any capacity.

What Is An Ignition 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 cellphone. To start a car equipped with an ignition interlock device, the driver must blow into the tube and hum for a certain period of time. If no alcohol detected on the driver’s breath, the car’s ignition will start. 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. Most devices even 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 An Ignition Interlock Device Cost?

An ignition interlock device requires a minimum $90 installation fee plus a $3 to $5 per day fee while in use, depending on the vendor.

For more information on the interlock program and guidelines for interlock go to the MN Department of Public Safety website.

Cautionary Note

One of the requirements for use of the ignition interlock is to provide the Minnesota Department of Public safety a certificate of insurance from your insurance company stating that the policy is noncancellable for one year. Obviously, this requires contacting your insurance company and explaining the situation to obtain the certificate of insurance. One preliminary problem with this requirement is that the insurance company, upon learning of the DWI and need for this certificate, may cancel your insurance and force you to look elsewhere for other insurance companies that will provide you with this certificate. While not impossible to find insurance companies willing to do this, it is good to know this ahead of time and plan accordingly if the situation arises.


Type of
Offense

Age

Priors
w/in
10

Priors outside
10

IC Revo. Length

Hard
Revo.

DL Status
w/ Interlock
.08-.15/Drugs/Imp. 21+

.

0 or 1

90 days 15 days if no priors Full DL(optional)
.08-.15/Drugs/Imp. 18-20

.

0 or 1

180 days 15 days if no priors Full DL(optional)
.08-.15/Drugs/Imp. Under
18

.

0 or 1

180 days 90 days if no priors Full DL(optional)
Refusal 18+

.

0 or 1

1 year

15 days if no priors Full DL(optional)
Refusal Under
18

.

0 or 1

1 year

90 days if no priors Full DL(optional)

.16+

All

.

0 or 1

1 year

N/A

Full DL

.08-.15/Drugs/Imp.

All

.

.

1 year

N/A

Full DL

.08-.15/Drugs/Imp.

All

.

0or1

1 year

N/A

Full DL

Refusal or .16+

All

.

.

2
years

N/A

Full DL

Refusal or .16+

All

.

0or1

2
years

N/A

Full DL

All

All

.

.

3
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

.

3
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

0 or1

3
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

.

4
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

4+

6
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

3+

6
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

2+

6
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

All

All

.

1+

6
years*

N/A

Limited 1st Yr

* Limited license given only if enrolled in treatment recommended by chemical use assessment

May convert to full DL privileges with interlock only after having limited license for one year and completing treatment program

May convert to full DL without interlock only after providing proof of abstinence using interlock or other alcohol monitoring device for period equal to revocation length

Interlock requirements:

1. Must be 18

2. Must have device installed in all vehicles driver intends to use for program

3. Must provide proof of insurance coverage for at least one year for all vehicles used in program

4. May only use vehicles with interlock device installed

5. May use company-owned vehicle without interlock device during normal course of work if employer provides written consent


All conviction revocations
are the same length as above except in the following situations:

Under .16/ Drugs/Impaired 21+ 0 0 30 days** 15days Full DL
(optional)
Refusal 21+ 0 0 90 days** 15days Full DL
(optional)
Under .16 Marijuana/Imp. 21+ 0 1 30 days*** N/A Full DL
(optional)
Refusal 21+ 0 1 90 days*** N/A Full DL
(optional)

**These revocation lengths apply instead of IC revocation only if driver had no kids in car.

***These revocation lengths apply only if the driver wins the current IC or has no IC revo from the current offense.

If you find yourself facing the prospect of either having to submit to the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Program or losing your license, it is important to get in touch with a criminal defense attorney who can develop a strategy for defense that will ultimately lead to the most favorable outcome possible for your individual case.

Call us today at 612-688-2299.