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Drunk Driving Laws Minnesota

The State of Minnesota has strict laws in place in connection with drunk driving, DUI (Driving Under the Influence) and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) within its jurisdiction. Each DWI or DUI offender will have punishments vary but first-time offenders can get jail time and loss of his or her driver's license for 30 days to up to a year. Explanations of the Driving While Impaired rules and their repercussions are as follows:

Driving While Impaired (Motor Vehicle): It is a crime for a person to drive, operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Some points that qualify to the rule of DWI are:
  • A person under the influence of alcohol
  • A person who is under the influence of a controlled substance
  • A person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicating substance, knowing very well that it may cause harm to himself
  • A person’s alcohol concentration during the time or 2 hours after driving, operating or being in physical control of a motor vehicle should not cross the reading of 0.08 or more.
Similar DWI qualifications with slight interventions apply to the operation of motorboats, snowmobile, all-terrain vehicles, off-road vehicles, etc.


Ignition Interlock Sanctions:

With the intention of reducing fatal actions and maintaining safe roads, the state of Minnesota has come up with stricter sanctions that uphold road safety:
  • First time DWI offenders arrested as a result of intoxication measuring twice as much as the permitted levels and second-time DWI offenders will be forced to use the Interlock Ignition sanction. The interlock ignition sanction is a device or a breath analyzer in an offender's car which is connected to the engine. Every time the DWI offender gets in his car to go somewhere, he must breathe into the breath analyzer. The breath analyzer checks if he is within the permissible limits of alcohol consumption. Only after he passes the breath analyzer test, would he be given access to the car?
  • DWI offenders with three or more offenses must drive with the interlock ignition in place for three to six years. If this conviction by the court is violated, the offender runs the risk of suspension of driving privileges and never regaining it again.
  • The risk of a permanent loss of driving privileges may double for DWI repeated offenders. However, if you accept ignition interlock sanction, driving privileges will be restored almost immediately

Features of Ignition Interlock:

The interlocks have features added to them that are tamper-proof with no probabilities of bypassing the system. The interlock requires the driver to blow into the device 5 times before the engine starts. The system may require to test the driver's alcohol levels randomly in the course of the day also. There are other features specific to interlocks like a hum or suck back patterns which is another foolproof way to prevent users from circumventing the testing process.

The interlock systems are also required to be re-calibrated every month by the service provider. The service provider checks for any flaws in the device, downloads data, and reports on how many times the device has been used and the results thereof are sent to the Minnesota Police Department for review.

Benefits of the Ignition Interlock:
  • The Interlock system has gone a long way in preventing drivers under the influence of alcohol and drugs from taking the wheel. This has brought about accidents caused due to drunken driving to a minimum, thus saving the lives of scores of people on the roads of Minnesota. Research shows that there is a whopping 64% reduction in DWIs since the system was introduced in Minnesota.
  • The interlock helps prevention as well as a means to keep drivers on the road as opposed to a complete suspension of their driver's license.
  • The interlock system helps in a drastic change in driving patterns and behaviors

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