While there are small modifications made each year to our laws here in Minnesota, this year comes with some more impactful changes. The changes themselves might appear small, but their impact on individuals charged with DWI are huge. While this blog specifically addresses the changes made regarding ignition interlock, you can read about other impactful DWI law changes on our website.
Requirement for Ignition Interlock
Since 2011, individuals facing a license revocation/cancellation of three years or more have been required to participate in ignition interlock as a prerequisite to their license being fully reinstated as a method of demonstrating sobriety. This requirement is notably different than what is required of individuals facing shorter revocation periods. Individuals facing a revocation period of less than 3 years had the option of either enrolling in ignition interlock or simply waiting out the revocation period without driving. However, this law has changed to the detriment of those charged with DWI.
NOW any individual facing a license revocation/cancellation of two years or more are required to participate in the ignition interlock program as a prerequisite to their license being fully reinstated, meaning they cannot just wait out their revocation time. Additionally, certain individuals facing one year revocation periods will also be required to participate in ignition interlock. This prerequisite will come into play for individuals who have a prior DWI or related license revocation offense within 10 years OR individuals who have two prior DWI or related license revocation offenses in a lifetime.
Limited License Restrictions
On a happier note, individuals facing a license revocation/cancellation of three or more years will no longer be required to have a limited license (work permit) during the first year of ignition interlock. As a result of the law change, anyone that is required to participate in ignition interlock as a prerequisite to their license being fully reinstated can now drive freely without any restrictions as long as they are enrolled in ignition interlock and driving a vehicle that is equipped with the device.
“Dirty” Blow Consequences
Another change to DWI law concerns the consequences an individual will face for a blow that registers an alcohol result of 0.02 or higher. This comes into play for individuals whose license is cancelled IPS (Inimical to Public Safety). Previously, a blow of 0.02 or higher would cause the DMV to restart their sobriety clock and issue a new license cancellation. As a result, individuals would be required to re-enroll in the ignition interlock program, pay the $680 reinstatement fee, complete a new alcohol dependency assessment, and follow the recommendations of the assessment.
NOW, those that are cancelled IPS and blow a 0.02 or higher on the ignition interlock device will have to restart their sobriety clock, but they will remain enrolled in the ignition interlock program.