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Ignition Interlock Devices in Minnesota

Ignition interlock devices are connected to the vehicle dashboard (sometimes somewhere else inside the vehicle) where the driver breathes into the device before starting the vehicle.  While the vehicle is in motion, the IID may require the driver to give a random breath sample to prevent against providing false breath samples (i.e. from a companion). If the IID detects a BAC higher than the programmed limit, then the engine will not start.   If the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit while operating the vehicle, the IID will ring an alarm signaling the driver to pull over.  The BAC reading will be stored and sent to the police.   Minnesota has an Ignition Interlock Program (www.minnesotaignitioninterlock.org) where drivers who have a cancelled or revoked driver’s license may participate to regain their driving privileges sooner.  The driver is responsible for the costs for installing and maintaining the IID.  Since Minnesota is one of the later states to adopt this technology, they have not yet made it a required penalty for a DUI/DWI conviction.

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