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Ignition Interlock Device Laws in Minnesota

Low Cost Interlock is a premier provider of ignition interlock services in Minnesota. Our team of highly skilled technicians offers a full range of services, including ignition interlock installation in your car, maintenance, calibration and removal.

We specialize in installing our own unique ignition interlock system comprising state-of-the-art software and hardware for a car breathalyzer that offers greater efficiency and precision. That means faster, more accurate results without sacrificing overall usability, making it one of the best alcohol detection systems on the market.

Ignition Interlock Device Laws in Minnesota

Criminal penalties for a DUI arrest in Minnesota depend on your blood alcohol content at the time of arrest, any minor passengers, and any potential injuries. For a first offense DUI with a BAC under 0.16 percent, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and may face up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine. If you refuse a chemical breath test or have a BAC over 0.16 percent, you will be charged with a gross misdemeanor and require up to a year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.

Subsequent drunk driving offenses will result in higher fines, longer jail sentences, suspensions, and generally harsher penalties under the law.

General Information


Legal Limit — 0.08
  • Minnesota’s legal alcohol-concentration driving limit is 0.08 — but motorists can be arrested for DWI at lower levels.

  • The consequences for driving impaired will vary for each DWI offender, but a typical penalty for a first-time offender is potential jail time and loss of license for a minimum of 30 days up to a year.

  • Costs can be as high as $20,000 when factoring court costs, legal fees and increased insurance premiums.

Impaired Driving statute — 169A

Strengthened DWI Sanctions with Ignition Interlock 

Minnesota’s strengthened DWI sanctions aim to enhance road safety to prevent alcohol-related crashes that account for one-third of all Minnesota traffic deaths annually. The stronger DWI sanctions include use of ignition interlock to give DWI offenders a chance to regain driving privileges by ensuring safe and legal driving.

Ignition interlock is installed under the dashboard of the vehicle and connected to its starter. Users must provide a breath sample into the interlock with an alcohol concentration below 0.02 in order for the vehicle to start.

Highlights of Stronger DWI Sanctions Law and Ignition Interlock

  • First-time DWI offenders arrested at twice the legal limit and above (0.16 alcohol-concentration) and second-time DWI offenders will be required to use ignition interlock or lose driving privileges ranging from one to two years — depending on offense level.

  • DWI offenders with three or more offenses in a 10-year period will be required to use ignition interlock for a period of three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges.

  • Offenders eligible to use interlock will regain full or limited driving privileges immediately after the offense, ensuring they are driving with a valid license and not a threat on the roadway.

  • The alcohol-concentration level when enhanced administrative sanctions are applied is lowered from 0.20 percent to 0.16. The average level for a DWI arrest is 0.15 percent.

  • The time-period for loss of driving privileges will double for many DWI offenders, but offenders that install ignition interlock will be able to drive immediately.

Interlock Anti-Circumvention Features

  • Interlocks have anti-circumvention features, such as rolling retests that require a driver to blow into the device three-five minutes after starting, and randomly thereafter. There also are specific hum or “suck back” patterns to prevent users from attempting to circumvent the testing process.

  • Unique to Minnesota’s interlock law is the requirement for in-car cameras that record all breath tests. Video and test results are provided to DPS for monitoring.

  • Users are required to have the interlock calibrated once a month by a service provider, Service providers also will run reports to indicate how many times the vehicle started, number of rolling re-tests, and any test fails (an alcohol-concentration limit of 0.02 or above). Service providers send the reports to DPS for review to take appropriate action or extend sanctions.

Benefits of Interlock

  • Interlock is primarily a tool to prevent impaired driving and enhance road safety. Consequently, interlock also will reduce the societal costs of impaired driving, including courts, law enforcement, probation and others.

  • Interlock creates a method for all offenders to obtain a valid driver’s license — addressing the epidemic of people driving without a valid license.

  • Interlock encourages behavior modification and rehabilitation.

  • Interlock diminishes the probability and possibility of repeat DWI. The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation reports interlock devices can reduce repeat DWI offenses on average 64 percent.