Drunk driving charges in Minnesota can lead to some serious consequences and legal penalties. In addition to the potential for heavy fines or jail time, offenders may face revocation or suspension of their driver’s licenses. This could prevent them from driving for school, work or family reasons. While an ignition interlock device may be ordered in some cases, this kind of device could serve as an alternative to a traditional license suspension that could keep a person on the road despite DWI charges.
An ignition interlock device is essentially a form of Breathalyzer that is connected to a car’s ignition mechanism. Drivers who want to start the car need to breathe into the device before they are allowed to turn the ignition. If a higher level of blood alcohol is detected, the ignition is disabled. In many cases, people with an ignition interlock device will need to re-test their breath while on the road through “rolling retests” that aim to ensure that they are not drinking behind the wheel.
While these devices may be cumbersome or expensive, they can also be an important option for many reasons. People facing DUI charges who qualify for an interlock device may be able to stay on the road, allowing them to keep their jobs and their livelihood. In many cases, there are other sentencing requirements attached to the installation of an interlock device.
License suspension is handled separately from criminal DWI charges in Minnesota, and an ignition interlock device may provide an alternative. A DUI defense attorney could help a client protect their rights and mobility by negotiating an agreement or challenging police evidence.