Ignition Interlock Laws in Minnesota: Key Regulations and Requirements

Ignition interlock devices have become an essential tool in the battle against drunk driving. Minnesota, like many other states in the U.S., has implemented ignition interlock laws to prevent individuals who have been convicted of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) from operating a vehicle while under the influence. The ignition interlock program in Minnesota offers opportunities for driving privileges through the installation and use of these devices, thereby helping reduce the risk of repeat offenses and ensuring safer roads for all.

Minnesota’s ignition interlock program allows certain offenders to regain limited driving privileges if their license has been revoked, suspended, or canceled due to a DWI conviction. To participate in the program, offenders must install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle—a breathalyzer-like instrument that prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver has consumed alcohol. By demonstrating a commitment to sober driving, participants in the program can maintain their mobility, while authorities can closely monitor any attempts to engage in drunk driving.

The ignition interlock laws in Minnesota have contributed to the state’s efforts to reduce alcohol-related traffic accidents and fatalities. As this technology continues to develop and improve, it is expected that these programs will become even more effective in promoting responsible driving and protecting the public from the dangers of drunk driving.

Ignition Interlock Device Basics

Purpose and Function

An Ignition Interlock Device (IID) is a breathalyzer-like device installed in a vehicle to prevent a person from starting it when intoxicated. The purpose of an IID is to promote public safety by restricting drivers with a history of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) from driving while intoxicated. The device requires the driver to provide a breath sample before starting the vehicle. If the IID detects a blood alcohol concentration above a predefined limit, the vehicle will not start.

Installation and Costs

Installation of an IID typically costs between $100 and $250, with monthly fees ranging from $65 to $90 1. These fees usually cover maintenance, calibration, monitoring, and other basic services. It’s worth noting that prices may vary depending on the service provider and the specific needs of the vehicle.

In Minnesota, drivers convicted of DUI offenses may be required to install an IID in their vehicle as part of their sentence. This measure aims to reduce the chances of repeat offenses and improve road safety.

Minnesota Ignition Interlock Laws

Legal Requirements

In Minnesota, ignition interlock laws aim to prevent drunk driving by requiring individuals convicted of a DWI to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicles. The device is designed to measure a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) and prevent the vehicle from starting if the BAC is above the pre-set limit. The legal requirements for ignition interlock devices vary based on the offense and individual circumstances:

  • First-time offenders with a BAC below 0.16%, may choose to install an ignition interlock device to regain driving privileges.
  • First-time offenders with a BAC of 0.16% or higher and repeat offenders must install an ignition interlock device for a specific period, depending on the number of priors and the BAC level at the time of the offense.

During the required period, participants must:

  • Maintain a minimum of 30 days of violation-free driving
  • Complete unannounced monitoring visits as scheduled
  • Pass the ignition interlock device’s rolling re-tests

License Reinstatement Process

To reinstate a driver’s license following a DWI conviction in Minnesota, individuals must complete the following steps:

  1. Enroll in a state-approved ignition interlock program: Participants need to contact an approved program provider and have the ignition interlock device installed on their vehicles.
  2. Submit proof of enrollment to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS): Participants must provide-proof-of-installation and a certificate of enrollment from the program provider.
  3. Obtain a restricted license: Once the DPS approves the participant’s enrollment, they will issue a restricted driver’s license, allowing them to operate a vehicle equipped with an ignition interlock device.
  4. Comply with interlock program requirements: Participants must adhere to all program requirements, including regular monitoring visits and maintaining a clean record while using the device.

By complying with Minnesota’s ignition interlock laws, individuals convicted of a DWI can regain their driving privileges and avoid future issues related to alcohol-impaired driving.

Enforcement and Penalties

First-Time Offenders

In Minnesota, first-time DWI (Driving While Impaired) offenders are subject to various penalties, which may include ignition interlock device installation. This device requires the driver to provide a breath sample to start the vehicle, preventing intoxicated individuals from driving. The required period of use for first-time offenders with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) below 0.16 is typically one year.

First-time offenders may also face:

  • License revocation: for 90 days (without ignition interlock) or 90 days with ignition interlock restricted driving privileges.
  • Fines: up to $1,000
  • Jail time: up to 90 days

Repeat Offenders

While the penalties for first-time offenders aim to discourage impaired driving, Minnesota enforces stricter consequences for repeat offenders. The ignition interlock requirement for second-time offenders is generally two years, with BAC levels playing a role in determining the specific duration.

Repeat offenders face increased penalties, which include:

  • License revocation: ranging from 1 to 6 years, depending on the number of prior offenses
  • Fines: up to $3,000
  • Jail time: up to 1 year, depending on the circumstances
  • Vehicle forfeiture: possible for multiple offenses within a 10-year period

The enforcement and penalties for ignition interlock laws in Minnesota serve to deter and manage DWI incidents, ensuring the safety of both the drivers and the community. The focus on first-time and repeat offender penalties highlights the importance of addressing the issue of impaired driving at both initial and subsequent occurrences.

Program Details and Modifications

Eligibility and Duration

In Minnesota, Ignition Interlock Device (IID) programs aim to reduce drunk driving incidents and keep the roads safer. As part of the program, drivers convicted of a DWI offense are required to install an IID in their vehicles. The eligibility criteria for the program vary depending on the severity of the offense and previous DWI records.

First-time offenders with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.16 or higher are required to participate in the program for a minimum of one year. Repeat offenders or those with a BAC of 0.20 or above face a mandatory two-year enrollment period. Other factors, such as license revocations or driving restrictions, can also affect the duration and eligibility for the program.

Monitoring and Reporting Requirements

The IID program in Minnesota has stringent monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure compliance and proper functioning of the devices. Participants are required to regularly visit service centers for device calibration and data downloading. Depending on their individual cases, some participants may need monthly or bi-monthly visits.

According to a review of Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Devices, program changes require extensive preparation in order to maintain the effectiveness and efficiency of the system. This includes updates to device technology, as well as adapting regulations and practices in response to new features.

During monitoring visits, technicians will review the data logs and ensure that the participant is complying with the program requirements. Violations that are discovered through data analysis, such as failed breath tests or device tampering, could result in additional penalties, including extended participation in the program or license revocations.

It’s essential for all participants in Minnesota’s IID program to understand and adhere to the eligibility, duration, monitoring, and reporting requirements to successfully complete their mandated period and maintain their driving privileges. This will ultimately contribute to safer roads and reduced instances of drunk driving.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the requirements for an Intoxalock in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, the alcohol ignition interlock device (IID) is called Intoxalock. To be eligible for the Intoxalock program, a person must have a valid driver’s license and be convicted of a DWI (Driving While Impaired) offense. Additionally, participants must choose an approved ignition interlock provider and cover the costs for installation, lease, and monitoring of the device.

How long do I need an ignition interlock device in the state?

The duration for which an IID is required depends on the severity of the DWI offense, prior convictions, and the driver’s license revocation period. Typically, first-time offenders may require the device for 1 to 2 years, while repeat offenders may need it for a longer period, often up to 3 to 6 years.

Is it possible to remove the interlock device early?

The length of time one is required to use an IID may be reduced if they consistently demonstrate responsible use of the device and comply with all program requirements. However, the possibility of early removal depends on individual circumstances and court decisions.

What are the penalties for an ignition interlock violation?

Violation of ignition interlock laws in Minnesota may result in additional sanctions, including extension of the IID installation period, driver’s license revocation, and possible jail time. It is crucial to comply with all program requirements and never attempt to circumvent or tamper with the device.

Which forms are necessary for the ignition interlock program?

In Minnesota, the necessary forms for the ignition interlock program include an application form, an Ignition Interlock Device Service Center agreement, and a Limited License application. These forms can be found on the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website or obtained from an approved IID provider.

What is the process for an administrative review regarding ignition interlock?

If you want to challenge a decision related to your IID program, you can request an administrative review with the Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The process typically requires submitting a written request within a specified time frame and providing relevant documentation to support your case. The DVS will then review your request and issue a decision.


  1. Ignition Interlocks-What You Need to Know: A Toolkit for Policymakers, Highway Safety Professionals, and Advocates

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