Friday, July 8, 2011

MN's Ignition Interlock Program (Update)

After all of the hub-bub over the big changes in the state's Drunk Driving laws, as predicted - things haven't gotten exactly off on the right foot. 

Due to the government shut-down, most non-essential functions - like the Minnesota Department of Public Safety - have ceased operations. As such, the entity responsible for monitoring and approving drivers licenses, vehicle tabs, and among other things -monitoring the new Ignition Interlock Program - is not on the job. 

Therefore, although the law has changed - and many people are now subject to its enhanced penalties - alleged violators are currently in a state of limbo until the shutdown is over.

The Impact

Well, if you are arrested today for a first-time DWI, and your blood, breath or urine tests at or over a (.16) BAC or greater, you're going to be subject to the new provisions of the Ignition Interlock Program.

This means, an arestee could recieve, at first, a 7-Day Temporary License to drive. After that, he or she would be subject to a license revocation of up to a year - without the opportunity to acquire a limited license/work permit.  According to the new law, the only way that someone could drive legally for the next year, would be to obtain an ignition interlock device.

What Can You Do?

In theory, someone arrested for DWI after the change in the law, July 1, 2011, would fill out the necessary paperwork, obtain the necessary insurance, pay the necessary reinstatement fee, and install an interlock device during that 7-Day temporary license period.

However, due to the shut-down the additional conditions (ie., the day to day monitoring) can not be effectuated.  Therefore, individuals who are arrested right now CAN'T get into the program.

So, where right back to where we were before the law was changed with individuals out driving illegally and putting public safety at risk.  In a word: Not Good.  

Defending a DWI

An experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney who understands the new Drunk Driving laws can be a valuable asset in defending your case - and ensuring that your rights are protected.  These include but are not limited to raising issues about the methods used to determine intoxication and the methodology employed by law enforcement. Consulting with an attorney is always the best course of action for any type of arrest.

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