One of the primary punishments associated with a DUI conviction in Minnesota is having driving privileges suspended. However, Minnesota has taken an usual approach to this practice that other states do not use as a general rule. There is a possibility of not having driving authorization suspended at all for drivers who are willing to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle after going through a three-step protocol. State prosecutors are still serious about pursuing convictions, but there is a way to maintain driving privileges.
First and second offense conviction
While drivers license suspension periods are the same for both first and second offenders with a blood alcohol content reading below 0.16, second offenders are required to sign an educational review in addition to taking the DWI knowledge test and paying a $680 reinstatement fee before installing the ignition interlock device. Convicted drivers must bear the cost for the device in addition to fines and potential jail time for a DUI/DWI conviction. Those with a BAC above 0.16 will be suspended for two years.
Additional steps to continue driving legally
After completing the first part of the suspended authorization process, drivers must then apply for a special license plate if theirs was impounded. In addition, convicted drunk drivers must sign an ignition interlock device participation agreement that includes agreement to pay the maintenance costs. Drivers must also submit test fees, proof of insurance and personal identification documentation when beginning the license maintenance program for DUI/DWI offenders.
It is important to note that those who do not opt for this program will have their drivers licenses suspended for one year for both a first and second DUI/DWI conviction. Those who refuse testing for BAC level are automatically suspended for one year as well with the look-back period for subsequent multiple charges set at 10 years.