Minnesota was one of the last states to add Ignition Interlock language into their DWI laws. For this reason, there is no required BAIID penalty as part of a DWI conviction. Despite the fact that Minnesota may be “late to the game” when it comes to the use of IIDs, it is not because they do not have a drunk driving problem on their highways. Like all states, Minnesota struggles with the issue of DWI drivers. The state had more than 31,000 DWI arrests in 2008, a large number by any standards. With so many arrests for DWIs, it made sense for Minnesota to begin to investigate the use of Ignition Interlock Devices for those convicted of DUI offenses.
The Minnesota Ignition Interlock Pilot Program was established and must continue until June 30, 2011. The program stipulates that a judge can circumvent Minnesota’s current punitive statutes if they elect to mandate, as a condition of probation, that the offending party drive only motor vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device.
Current DUI laws and punishments are based on the degree of the crime committed. This is determined by measuring the number of aggravating factors involved in the case, which are defined as:
Prior impaired driving incident in the last 10 years (this is the look back period) Blood alcohol content that is two times the legal limit Child endangerment exists (a child is in the vehicle during an arrest) If all 3 factors are present, the Dui is considered a first degree offense and the guilty party will face up to 5 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. The state will impound the driver’s plates and potentially their vehicle. 2nd degree DUI offenses in Minnesota have two of the above factors present. This results in a year in jail and $3000 fine. License plates and vehicle forfeiture are also likely. 3rd degree DUI offenses have only one aggravating factor evident. Regardless of which factor it is, this will result in up to 1 year in jail and a $3000 fine.
Finally, 4th degree DUI offenses are cases with no aggravating factors. These charges are considered misdemeanor and are among the most common of charges. These crimes are punishable with up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine By successfully separating drinking from driving, Smart Start has shown through widespread use in other states that the use of IIDs can help reduce the number of intoxicated drivers on our roads. It also prevents habitual DUI offenders from being able to drink and drive and by catching those who try, the authorities are able to place repeat offenders in substance abuse programs where their medical needs can be addressed.
For more information on how Smart Start of Minnesota can help you, or for more information on voluntary IIDs in the state, visit one of our IID locations, make an online appointment to visit one of our centers, or contact us today at 800-880-3394. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ready to serve you.