Ignition interlock devices are tools that ensure drivers who have been convicted of a previous DUI can’t get behind the wheel if they’ve consumed alcohol. We work closely with individuals who need to get interlock devices and the companies that install them, because besides being a mandatory condition of sentencing, they are also an important roadblock in preventing relapses.
The devices are installed into your vehicle and require the driver to blow into a breathalyzer-like device prior to starting their vehicle. The car will only start if the driver blows below the legal limit, or a lower limit imposed by the court. They are mandatory for first-time DUI offenders who blow at least twice the legal limit (0.16) or for repeat DUI offenders who wish to keep their licenses.
This seems like a great way to prevent drunk drivers from getting on the road, but as you can probably guess, it’s not a perfect system. Drivers could have their friends blow into the breathalyzer, or they could drink after they start their car. To counteract this, Minnesota has adopted some new regulations regarding Ignition Interlock devices. Here’s how the state is ensuring the driver is truly sober:
- Interlock devices in Minnesota now have what are known as “rolling retests,” meaning the driver needs to blow into the device 3-5 minutes after starting the vehicle, and at random points throughout their commute.
- New devices are equipped with “suck back” patterns to prevent drivers from attempting to circumvent the tests.
- Minnesota law requires all interlock devices to feature a camera system that records each breath test to ensure the driver is the one blowing into the system. These videos and test results are automatically transferred to the Department of Public Safety for monitoring.
- Ignition interlock devices need to be calibrated at least once a month by the service provider. Service providers will also run their own reports that include – The number of times the vehicle started, the number of rolling re-tests, and any failed tests. These reports are also sent to the DPS for review, action and sanctions.
For more information about ignition interlock devices, check out this page we devoted to them. Also, if you have any questions about ignition interlock devices or where to get one installed, feel free to contact us.