Driving while under the influence has many severe consequences. One of the worst results is losing your license. Fortunately, there is a way to keep your license under certain conditions, though it will be a limited license. In these conditions, the state of Minnesota will give you the option of joining the Ignition Interlock Program. It works like this.
The Ignition Interlock Program is pretty simple. It involves having a small device with a blowing tube installed in your car. This machine will prevent your car from starting if it detects a blood alcohol concentration over a certain amount. It will also record a violation if you test your breath while driving and have a high blood alcohol concentration.
You can have this machine installed by one of the providers that contract with the state, and it will stay in your car between 3 and 6 years, depending on your sentence. Unfortunately, you cannot get it removed before your time is up, regardless of how well you behave. If you take it out early, the state will revoke your license.
The device even has a camera on it that will take pictures of your initial breath test, rolling retests, and violations to make sure that you are the one blowing on the tube.
The device is available for people who have been caught driving while under the influence two or more times, or were found to have a 0.16 blood alcohol content on their first offense. People whose driving privileges were revoked because they are ‘inimical to public safety’ must enroll in the program.
In order to be eligible, you have to:
1. Be 18 years old or older
2. Have valid car insurance and a Class D driver’s license (no mopeds or commercial vehicles)
3. Not have withdrawals in any state
4. Not be subject to Vanessa’s Law
The Application Process
Applying to get the interlock installed in your car starts in a variety of ways. If your license plates have been impounded, you will have to go to the Deputy Registrar’s to buy special license plates. If you lost your privileges before 2011, you will have to sign a waiver.
Once those conditions are met, you will have to:
1. Pass the DWI knowledge test
2. Pay the $680 reinstatement fee
3. Apply and pay for a new driver’s license (you’ll get to test for a complete the application for CDL privileges once you have completed the program)
4. Sign an Ignition Interlock Participation Agreement and send in proof of insurance for the car that will have the device
6. Send application paperwork to DVS
You can have an ignition interlock device installed in your car by a state-approved provider at any time. You just have to wait for DVS to approve your participation before you drive the car, when they will send you a limited license.
If your license wasn’t just revoked but was canceled or denied, you will have to sign an application for an Ignition Interlock limited license. You will also have to complete a chemical use assessment, and sign a Last Use Statement. If your license was revoked, you may have to sign a Special Review Awareness form.
People enrolled in the partial pay program will have to pay the first installment and comply with those requirements before the person can participate in the ignition interlock program.
All of this is complicated and may require legal advice and help. In that case, feel free to contact Anderson Law Firm, PLLC. We have years of experience helping people regain their licenses and overcome vehicle-related violations.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.