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How the ignition interlock law works in Minnesota

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the impending decision by the federal government to enact an ignition interlock program. The rule would function in a similar way to the drinking age law: each state would have the ability to reject the rule, but if they did, they would lose federal funding. The rule would force drunk driving offenders, even first-time offenders, to use an ignition interlock for at least six months if they wanted to keep driving after their arrest.

As we pointed out in that post, the laws pertaining to drunk driving vary greatly from state to state, as do the punishments associated with those laws. Here in the state of Minnesota, we have an ignition interlock law that has been on the books since July 1, 2011.

The law says that anyone who has been convicted of a DUI a second time must use an ignition interlock if they want to keep driving. The law also applies to first-time offenders if they were found to have a blood alcohol level of 0.16 or greater.

The penalties associated with a drunk driving charge in Minnesota can vary greatly from case to case, but that doesn't mean they are any less serious. People who are charged and convicted of driving under the influence have a host of consequences to deal with. Financial penalties, driving limitations, court dates and rehabilitation programs are just the start of these consequences. Personal and professional consequences can soon follow after a DUI arrest, so it is imperative that people accused of such a crime defend themselves.

Source: Department of Public Safety, "Minnesota Ignition Interlock Device Program," Accessed July 28, 2014

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