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Facing a DWI charge can turn your life upside-down.

You may feel scared that you could go to jail, lose your job, and lose your ability to provide for your family.

While avoiding jail may be your primary goal, you need to be aware of other penalties that could make your life very difficult.

One of the most life-altering penalties you can face aside from going to jail is losing your driver‘s license.

You may never realize how much of your life depends on your ability to drive until the state revokes your license.

To avoid entering Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Device Program after a DWI, you will need the help of a tough, dedicated, and seasoned DWI defense lawyer to protect your rights.

At the Criminal Defense & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, we have the resources, experience, and knowledge to put you in the best position to beat your case or get your charges reduced.

What Is an Ignition Interlock Device?

According to Minnesota Statutes 171.306, an ignition interlock device (IID) is a piece of equipment that measures the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in someone’s breath.

The design of the device prevents the driver from starting the car if the person’s BAC is 0.02% or higher. 

An IID works like a standard breathalyzer test. The user must blow into the device before trying to start the car.

The IID rests in the center console of the car. It has a tube to register the breath of the driver and a wire that connects to the engine.

IIDs also have GPS devices and cameras that attach to the windshield. The purpose of the camera is to record the test and ensure that the proper person provided the breath sample.

Almost any perceptible amount of alcohol will prevent the vehicle from starting. If the device registers a BAC reading of less than 0.02%, then the IID will allow the driver to engage the ignition.

However, if the test registers a sample of 0.02% or greater, then the driver must wait another 15 minutes before trying to start the car. 

Getting the car started is only part of the test. In Minnesota, the IID program requires you to provide a breath sample every 15 minutes.

This is called a “rolling test.” The camera activates during these rolling tests to ensure that the driver does not manipulate the device.

Failing a test, not retaking the test, not taking the rolling test, or manipulating the IID is grounds for the program to order sanctions against you. 

Why Would I Need to Use an Ignition Interlock Device?

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) has the authority to revoke your driving privileges after a DUI arrest.

The Driver & Vehicle Services Division of the DPS (DVS) runs the IID program. Any sanction imposed by the DPS after a DUI arrest has nothing to do with your criminal court penalties.

The court can impose additional sanctions against you even if you successfully complete the IID program.

The DPS will revoke your license for a first-offense DUI if your breath test results are 0.08% or higher. The DPS may also revoke your license if you refuse to take a breathalyzer. 

Your second DWI charge within 10 years—or your third DWI charge overall—triggers an automatic revocation of your license as well.

Similarly, a criminal vehicular operation conviction results in automatic license revocation.

The IID program offers you a chance to get your license back before the revocation period ends.

The offenses you face will dictate your options. In some instances, you can serve the revocation period if you want and then apply to reinstate your license without installing an IID.

But electing to install an IID in your vehicle will allow you to drive before the revocation ends.

However, keep in mind that there are some charges that do not give you an option and require IID use to reinstate your license. 

What Do I Have to Do to Get into the IID Program?

The DVS imposes several requirements on applicants to get into the program. To get into the IID program, you have to:

  • Pay a reinstatement fee of $680;
  • Apply for a new driver’s license and pay the application fee; 
  • Provide the DVS with a current certificate of insurance for the vehicle that will run on the IID;
  • Enroll in and sign an Agreement to participate in the interlock program.

Remember that the goal of this program is to reduce recidivism. You do not have to participate in it unless your prior record mandates that you complete the program to reinstate your license.

If you choose to participate in the program—or are ordered to—you must have your device installed by a company that is certified and authorized by the DPS to do such installations.

You must satisfy the training requirements and take the vehicle back to the installation facility to recalibrate the machine. Failure to do so will result in sanctions from DVS.

Sanctions involve extending the program depending on the infraction. The DVS will add months, if not years, to your required IID time if you violate the program rules.

Contact a Minnesota DUI Defense Lawyer Today

At the Criminal Defense & Workers Compensation Law Offices of Arechigo & Stokka, we are committed to winning the best results for you.

DWI penalties in Minnesota are harsh. That’s why we’re committed to representing you aggressively.

Contact our office today at 651-413-9744 to learn more about how we could help with your DWI case.

We have hundreds of cases under our belts and decades of experience. Our award-winning attorneys will put you in the best position to beat your DWI charges.

Author Photo John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.

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