Ignition Interlock Updates for 2022 in MN
When a driver gets a DWI in Minnesota it often prompts a loss of driver’s license. In many circumstances, there is an option to get on Minnesota’s ignition interlock device program. This will allow a driver to obtain a restricted driver’s license during their revocation period. Recently, Minnesota enacted legislation changing when a driver must get ignition interlock to get their driver’s license fully reinstated with no restrictions at the end of the revocation time, because not all DWIs require ignition interlock.
First-time DWIs in Minnesota do not mandate ignition interlock. It is optional. Drivers can choose to wait out their revocation period and then reinstate their driver’s license at the DMV. For first-time DWIs that have an alcohol concentration under .16 will allow a person to get a limited license (a.k.a. work permit). This is possible after fifteen days of their ninety-day revocation period. For first-time DWIs that were DWI Refusals can get a limited license after fifteen days. First-time DWIs with an alcohol concentration of .16 or more can decide to sit out their one-year license revocation or they can get on the ignition interlock device program. In all three of these scenarios, the driver needs to pay a reinstatement fee to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) and they need to apply for a new driver’s license.
If the DWI is a person’s second in ten years, ignition interlock is now mandatory in MN if a person wants to drive during their revocation period. And, if they ever want t get a regular driver’s license at the end of their revocation. This also applies to a third DWI in a person’s lifetime. A second DWI in ten years with the new DWI testing under .16 prompts one year on ignition interlock. For those who test at least .16 or more or refusing the evidentiary breath test on a second offense, ignition interlock will be for two years.
A third DWI in ten years, or fourth DWI in a lifetime, the period on ignition interlock is three years in Minnesota. Interlock is mandatory for that person to get their regular driver’s license back in that scenario. A fourth DWI offense in ten years triggers four years on ignition interlock, which is also mandatory. Five or more DWI offenses initiate a mandatory six years on ignition interlock.
Importantly, if a driver wants to reduce their time on ignition interlock, they must challenge the driver’s license revocation within sixty days of being served with a notice of the revocation. This is the implied consent process. Here, your DWI attorney will file a petition for judicial review. This will bring the matter into district court in Minnesota where you can try to get your revocation period reduced or eliminated. Besides prevailing in court on your implied consent case, you must also obtain a dismissal or reduced offense in your DWI criminal case to obtain a lesser revocation period on ignition interlock.