For ignition interlock requirements, Minnesota has updated its laws, according to a report from Marino Eccher of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
The proposed law, backed by MADD, would require all those found guilty of drunk driving to enroll in the state’s ignition interlock program, should they want to regain their driving privileges. It passed the House Transportation Committee unanimously in March and will next be considered by the Public Safety Committee.
As it stands now, using ignition interlock is only mandatory if a person has been convicted three times, but in some cases, optional for first and second time offenders looking to fast track overturning driver’s license suspensions.
In Minnesota, 1st time DWI offenders can face suspensions lasting anywhere between 90 to 365 days. For these people, the new law would require that they keep the ignition interlocks installed in their vehicles for a minimum of one year.
25 other states have passed similar measures. According to MADD, those states have experienced a reduction of 15% in fatalities caused by drunk driving.
Ignition interlock devices operate by using a breathalyzer to ensure that the drivers’ BAC levels don’t exceed the legal limit, not allowing them to start their vehicles if they do. For resources pertaining to Minnesota’s ignition interlock program, check out our resources page.