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What you should know about using an ignition interlock device

by | Jun 5, 2017 | blog, Firm News |

After a DUI conviction, you may keep your license but with restrictions. Ignition interlock devices are commonly installed in cars after a DUI or DWI to allow the convicted to retain driving privileges.

This device is not difficult to use. About the size of a cellphone, it is hardwired into the vehicle. When you get into your car, before you can start the vehicle, you must breathe into the device. After 20 or 30 minutes in the car, you must perform another test. If any alcohol is detected on your breath, the car will not start, and the reading will be reported the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Issues with ignition interlock devices

First, the results might not be reliable. A device that sits in the heat of the sun or in the freezing cold might give inaccurate readings. A bad battery can also cause inaccuracies. If you have such an issue, take care. You may get locked out of your system if you tamper with the device or disable it, and doing so is also a misdemeanor criminal offense. Drivers who use an ignition interlock device are required to cover the costs of installation and maintenance. Most likely, you will be required to make regular service appointments to ensure it is working properly.

New law protecting your privacy 

Another issue is that these interlock systems often have GPS monitoring capabilities. In 2016, this feature came under fire. Representative Peggy Scott (R-Andover) authored a bill that would protect your privacy if you are using an interlock ignition device. More recently, Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill, which requires a judge’s order to switch on GPS tracking. A judge can determine that the GPS tracking is warranted at the time of sentencing.

The ignition interlock system is a great way for those convicted of a DUI to be able to continue to get to work and demonstrate responsibility. If you are using an interlock ignition device and need assistance with its performance, you should not hesitate to contact an experienced DUI attorney to advocate for you.

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