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New DWI Laws To Include Ignition Interlock Device

Interlock Device
Minnesota Department of Public Safety

UNDATED — Repeat drunk drivers will be forced to use an ignition interlock device in their vehicle after July First. It’s part of new, tougher DWI laws meant to reduce the number of drunk drivers in the state.

The device forces the driver to take a breath test before the car will start.

Kevin Voss is an Assistant Stearns County Attorney who handles most of the county’s DWI cases. He says the change also covers first-time offenders who’s blood alcohol level is twice the legal limit.  he says eligible offenders can opt to get their driver’s licenses back by installing the Ignition interlock device.

For those drivers who have had DWI’s before, Voss says it will be mandatory.  He says the Minnesota Department of Public Safety wants to make sure repeat drunk drivers are not consuming alcohol before they get behind the wheel.  Voss says those offenders will be required to get the device before they get their licenses back.

Voss says along with reducing the number of drunk drivers, the state is also trying to make it so people can drive with a valid driver’s license and be monitored at the same time.

The cost of the device is $50 to install, a $100 monthly monitoring fee and another $50 to remove the interlock system afterward.

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