According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, more than 30,000 people are arrested and charged each year with driving while intoxicated, or DWI. The state defines intoxication as operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher. Drivers of commercial vehicles can be charged with DWI if they have a BAC of just .04.
Minnesota’s legal system allows for individualized penalties for intoxicated driving. Anyone found guilty of DWI will be subject to both criminal penalties and administrative sanctions that are contingent on the driver’s blood alcohol level, the age of any passengers in the car, and whether the driver has prior DWI offenses. Most offenses include license suspension unless the driver opts to use the Ignition Interlock System.
What is Ignition Interlock?
The Ignition Interlock Program was initiated in Minnesota in 2011 in an attempt to allow alcohol offenders to retain driving privileges contingent upon an Ignition Interlock device being installed in their vehicles. The device contains a blowing tube that detects the driver’s alcohol concentration levels. The device must be used before the car can be started, preventing intoxicated drivers from operating the vehicle.
Ignition Interlock is offered to all second, third and fourth-time DWI offenders, as well as to all first-time DWI offenders with a blood alcohol level measured at .16 or above. First-time offenses require only 3 months of Ignition Interlock usage to retain full driving privileges. Second-time and subsequent offenders, however, must use the device for a period of 1 to 6 years.
Charged with DWI? Contact Eric Rice, Criminal Defense Attorney of Minneapolis- St. Paul
If you have been charged with a DWI in St. Paul, you need a criminal defense attorney who understands your rights. Don’t lose your license if you don’t have to. Contact the office of Eric Rice, criminal defense attorney St. Paul.