Last month, we gave an overview of the penalties drivers face when charged with DUI in Minnesota. Among those DUI penalties is the revocation of driving privileges, but there are options for those who need to get back on the road sooner. These options include the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Program.

What is The Minnesota Ignition Interlock Program?

The Minnesota Ignition Interlock Program (IIDP) gives eligible alcohol offenders the option of installing an ignition interlock device on their vehicle to regain driving privileges. First-time offenders who get their driving privileges revoked have the option to participate in the program, however drivers with a second offense in 10 years or a third on record are required to enroll in the program. Read the IIDP guidelines here


How does the device work?

A cell phone-sized device is installed near the steering wheel and connected to the engine, while a camera is installed on the windshield. Before starting the ignition, drivers blow into a tube and if there is a certain level of alcohol detected, the car will not start. While the person is driving, the device requires the driver to breathe into it throughout the drive. If any alcohol is detected during the drive, the device will record the violation, and the Department of Vehicle Services will be notified.

Want to avoid having to install one of these ignition interlock devices in your vehicle?

Follow these guidelines from the MN Office of Traffic Safety to reduce alcohol-related arrests or accidents:

  • Plan for a safe ride — Designate a sober driver, use a safe, alternative transportation option, or stay at the location of the celebration.
  • Speak up — Offer to be a designated driver or be available to pick up a loved one anytime, anywhere. If you see an impaired person about to get behind the wheel, get them a safe ride home.
  • Buckle up — Seatbelts are the best defense against a drunk driver – plus it’s the law!
  • Report drunk driving — Call 911 when witnessing impaired driving behavior. Be prepared to provide the location, license plate number, and observed dangerous behavior.