Minnesota tries hard to prevent repeat drunk driving offenses. One measure the state uses to stop repeat offenders is the ignition interlock system. While this program might seem to give your license back sooner, it can be an expensive and inconvenient “fix” for the driver. If you are facing a potential ignition interlock order in Minnesota, you need an experienced attorney on your side.

Understanding Ignition Interlock

Minnesota’s ignition interlock program can sometimes allow drivers to get behind the wheel earlier than they could otherwise. The goal of the interlock is to prevent you from being able to drive drunk. The ignition interlock prevents you from driving if there is alcohol in your system.

If you have been convicted of a DWI, you may be eligible to enroll in the ignition interlock program to get back your driving privileges under the following conditions:

  • You must be at last 18 years old and eligible for a class D license;
  • You must own or drive a vehicle with valid insurance;
  • You must have no outstanding withdrawals that prohibit the issuance of a license in any state; and
  • You must purchase special plates, which are often referred to as whiskey plates.

The period of time you must use an ignition interlock on your vehicle will depend on the level of conviction and the number of offenses you’ve had. If your license has been revoked, you can typically get it back if you use an ignition interlock according to the following guidelines:

1st Impaired Driving Offense Repeat Offense
BAC under .16 90 days 1 year
BAC .16 or higher 1 year 2 years
Test refusal 1 year 2 years

If your license has been canceled, you will typically be required to use an ignition interlock for an even longer period of time:

Offense Interlock Period
3rd offense in 10 years 3 years
4th offense in 10 years 4 years
5th or subsequent offense 6 years

Although the law doesn’t always require an ignition interlock, using one may make it easier to get your license back. However, this presents a new set of challenges for the driver, including high costs, inconvenience, and embarrassment.

Ignition Interlock Defense Lawyer

Whether you need help enrolling in the ignition interlock program, or if you are trying to get your license back without using the device, a qualified defense lawyer can help make the process easier. With a lawyer on your side, you can often regain your license faster. In many cases, this will even allow you to drive again without using obstructive devices like an ignition interlock. Minnesota’s DWI and ignition interlock laws are complicated, so it’s always best to seek the help of a defense lawyer.

Contact Us for a Free Consultation

If you are required to use an ignition interlock system in order to keep driving, you need help from an attorney. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have assisted many clients in getting the best outcome relative to a DWI. Our attorneys can often help you get back behind the wheel without the inconvenience of an ignition interlock system. Don’t fight your impaired driving charges alone. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.