Ask a Sheriff: What is the Ignition Interlock Device Program?

by Sheriff Joel Brott

First-time alcohol offenders with an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or above and all second-time alcohol offenders have the option of regaining their driving privileges by participating in the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Device Program, otherwise they may be without those privileges for approximately a year.

An ignition interlock is a device the size of a calculator installed under a vehicle dashboard and connected to the starter. For a person to start a vehicle they must blow into the device and measure an alcohol content under 0.02. If the alcohol content is at 0.02 or above, the car will not start and the information will be recorded and later transmitted to the monitoring authority.

Drivers whose licenses are canceled and whose privileges are denied as dangerous (“inimical”) to public safety are required to enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program for a period of three to six years in order to regain full driving privileges.

Drivers having received a notice of revocation or cancellation prior to July 1, 2011, have the option of enrolling in the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Device Program and must sign a waiver to participate.

The Ignition Interlock Device Program enhances public safety by giving the eligible alcohol offender the option of having an ignition interlock device installed on his or her vehicle, helping to ensure safe and legal driving. The offender is able to drive with no further limitations, will avoid future DWIs, and will save money and time by avoiding consequences of driving illegally.

The Ignition Interlock Device Program is administered by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Division (DVS). Please see their website at www.Minnesota for further details.