In our previous post, we mentioned that there are currently two bills under consideration in Congress right now that may end up making the use of ignition interlock devices more widespread than they already are. The bills, as we noted, contain measures that would increase highway funding to states that make use of the devices mandatory.
In Minnesota, first-time DWI offenders with an alcohol concentraion of .16 or above, as well as all second-time alcohol ofenders, have the option of gaining their driving privileges back by participating in the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Device Program. Under the program, drivers are required to enroll for a period of three to six years in order to gain back their full privileges.
Those participating in the program have a device the size of a hand-held calculator installed in their veihcle. The device includes a blowing tube, and prevents the vehicle from starting if it detects a certain alcohol concentration level. It also makes use of rolling retests to ensure the vehicle continues to be operated by a sober driver after it is started.
Those using the devices are required to paying for their rental costs. Each vendor has its own prices. The State of Minnesota does not issue any charges to those participating in the program or collect any fees from the provider of the devices.
Those who wish to participate in the program need to register with Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services. There are a number of requirements that have to be met before participation can be secured. Those who have had their license revoked must meet additional requirements, as must those who've had their licensed canceled or denied.
Source: Online: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/programs/mn-ignition-interlock/Pages/default.aspx; Driver and Vehicle Services website; provivdes overview of Minnesota Ignition Interlock Device Program.