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Minnesota Ignition Interlock For An Out-Of-State DWI?

by Jun 14, 2022Cassandra Bautista, Criminal Defense Attorney, DWI / DUI

Many Minnesota drivers have received a DWI in another state, most commonly in Wisconsin. Minnesota and Wisconsin share records, so both states are aware if you get a DWI. This means you may face repercussions in both states, including possible license revocation.

Minnesota has its own repercussions for a resident who has been convicted of a DWI in another state. These punishments are similar to what would happen if you received your DWI while driving in Minnesota. One common repercussion of a DWI conviction is the requirement for an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you have had your license revoked after being charged with your DWI, you may be required to have an ignition interlock installed in your vehicle to get your license back. 

What Is Ignition Interlock?

Ignition interlock is a system that requires the driver to submit to a breath test upon entering their vehicle. The device is slightly larger than a smartphone and includes a blowing tube. It is installed next to the steering wheel. The driver blows into the tube, and the system measures their BAC. It must be below a certain threshold for their vehicle to start. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Ignition Interlock Device Program is meant as a means for certain drivers to keep their license after a DWI conviction. For example, drivers whose blood alcohol concentration was 0.16 or higher at the time of their arrest have the option to enroll in the program if they would like to regain their license.

Ignition interlock is supposed to be a preventative measure against the defendant continuing to drink and drive, but it is more often an inconvenient and unnecessary hassle that you may need to put up with for years. 

When Do Minnesotans Need Ignition Interlock?

Since Minnesota usually treats DWIs in a state like Wisconsin in the same way as they would an in-state arrest, the criteria for when ignition interlock is optional or required are the same for everyone. It is often offered as a way for drivers with old DWI convictions to regain their license over time, but there are some cases where a recent conviction will necessitate ignition interlock. 

A driver whose BAC is at least twice the legal limit has the option to enroll in the program if they would like to get their license back. A defendant who has received their second DWI must also participate in the program before they can regain their license without restriction – this is required after the second DWI. That being said, if you are not convicted of your charge, you may not be subject to these laws. If you are charged in Wisconsin, a Minnesota/Wisconsin DWI attorney may be able to help you avoid a DWI conviction and keep your license. 

Minnesota/Wisconsin DWI Defense Lawyers for Out-Of-State Arrests

If you are charged with a DWI in Wisconsin and want to avoid using an ignition interlock in Minnesota, a Minnesota/Wisconsin DWI defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid a conviction. Contact Sieben Edmunds Miller’s Minnesota and Wisconsin DUI-DWI-OWI attorneys to see how we can help you fight to keep your license.

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