One of the more common penalties for DWI convictions – as well as their deferment programs – is the application of an ignition interlock device (IID). These devices require the driver to prove that he or she is not intoxicated, typically via a breath test. There is also a cost associated with installing and maintaining the device.

In the following article, we’ll go over the merits of accepting an ignition interlock device, the costs, and the possible downsides.

DWI Lawyer in Apple Valley, Minnesota

DWI convictions can be extremely disruptive. Jail time aside, DWIs can result in driver’s license suspensions and suspensions. However, the state does provide an alternative to losing your driver’s license: the Ignition Interlock Device program.

Knowing when to utilize the program, and evaluate its true cost, is the job of a skilled DWI attorney. Speak with an attorney at James Blumberg Law today to evaluate your situation and help you apply for Minnesota’s IID program.

Call today at (952) 431-7758 to set up a free consultation.

Information Center

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Ignition Interlock Devices (IID)

The IID program is not an automatic part of a DWI plea or conviction. It is a program offered by the state of Minnesota to enable drivers to continue to operate their vehicles in a safe and responsible manner. The program acknowledges the poor judgment demonstrated by driving while intoxicated but also provides a way for drivers to continue their daily lives with minimal disruption.

Eligible parties for the IID program include:

  • Repeat Offenders: Individuals who have multiple DWI (Driving While Impaired) offenses are required to participate in the IID program.
  • High BAC First-time Offenders: First-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.16 or higher at the time of arrest are also mandated to enroll in the program.
  • Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing: Drivers who refuse to submit to a chemical test (breath, blood, or urine) when suspected of DWI are eligible for the IID program.
  • Underage Offenders: Individuals under 21 years old who are convicted of DWI may be required to participate in the program.

In many cases, the defendant will be presented with a choice: use an IID or suspend driving for anywhere from 6 to 12 months.

Approved IID Companies

The state of Minnesota has approved 6 companies to install and implement its IID program. These companies are:
Alcohol Countermeasure Systems
​​Ph: (877) 888-7250

www.intoxalo​ ​
Ph: (833) 210-8428

LifeSafer Interlock, Inc.
Ph: ​(800) 745-0331

​LowCost Interlock
Ph: (800) 352-4872​

Roadguard Interlock​​​
​​​Ph: (866) 694-6099

Smart Star​t​ MN
Ph: (952) 224-7050
Ph: (866) 966-5245​​​

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Options for Reinstatement

The following information is from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. The table provides an overview of the options available for each level of DUI.

First Alcohol Offense

For alcohol concentrations under 0.16 (or test refusal)

Option 1
  • Use an ignition interlock device during the reinstatement period
  • Continue to use your driving license
Option 2
  • Do not drive for 15 days
  • Use a limited license during a reinstatement period
Option 3
  • Do not drive during the revocation period

Alcohol concentration level of 0.16 or greater

Option 1
  • Use an ignition interlock device during the reinstatement period
  • Continue to use your driving license
Option 2
  • Do not drive during the revocation period

Second Alcohol Offense in 10 Years/Third on Record

Option 1
  • Use an ignition interlock device during the reinstatement period
  • Continue to use your driving license
Option 2
  • Do not drive during the revocation period

Third Alcohol Offense in 10 Years/Four or More on Record

Ignition interlock required.

Criminal Vehicular Operation (CVO) Conviction involving alcohol (non-fatal)

Ignition Interlock required.

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How Long You’ll Have to Use an IID

First Implied Consent/DWI
  • Under 0.16 – 90 days/180 days if under age 21
  • 0.16 or over – 1 year
  • Test refusal – 1 year
Second Implied Consent/DWI in 10 Years or Third on Record
  • Under 0.16 – 1 year
  • 0.16 or over – 2 year
  • Test refusal – 2 year
Third Implied Consent/DWI in 10 Years or
Fourth on Record
  • 3 years (first year on a limited license)
Fourth Implied Consent/DWI in 10 Years
  • 4 years (first year on a limited license)
Fifth or Subsequent Implied Consent/DWI
  • 6 years (first year on a limited license)
CVO – Bodily Harm
  • 2 to 6 years depending upon prior offenses
CVO – Substantial Bodily Harm
  • 2 to 6 years depending upon prior offenses
CVO – Great Bodily Harm
  • 6 to 10 years depending upon prior offenses

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The cost of the IID program is a little misleading. Users are charged by the day (over a month), as well as for installation and monitoring. In addition, you will be required to pay the $680 license reinstatement fee associated with the IID program.


Installing an IID can run from $70 to $150.

Monthly Fee

Every month of the program, the company that installs your IID will charge between $60 and $90, depending on how much you use the device.

Other Fees

In addition, you may run into supplementary fees such as:

  • Lock-out fees: If you fail the breathalyzer test multiple times in a row or attempt to tamper with the device, you will be locked out. Many companies charge a fee for resolving the lockout. IntoxaLock is one such provider and charges $75 to unlock your device.
  • Switch Fees: Depending on the severity of your DWI, you may be required to use the device for years. In that case, you’ll need to switch from one car to another. Some companies may not charge a fee, and others will charge as high as the installation fee.

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Tampering with an Ignition Interlock Device

It is illegal to tamper with an installed ignition interlock device.
Tampering, along with other violations of the program, may result in the following sanctions:

1st Offense 180 days added to the length of the program
2nd Offense 1 year added to the length of the program
3rd and subsequent offenses 545 days added to the length of the program

The following are examples of tampering, circumventing or bypassing the device:

  • Having anyone other than an authorized service center remove the device
  • After failing a breath test, having another person provide a passing breath test
  • Moving, adjusting or blocking the camera from a direct and unobstructed view of the driver’s seat so that the face of the person providing the breath test is not visible
  • Standing outside of the vehicle to take the breath test in order to avoid the camera
  • Push starting the vehicle
  • Disconnecting or cutting any wires which would interfere with the normal operation of the ignition interlock device
  • Removing tamper-proof seals

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Administrative Reviews

You have the right to appeal a decision by the Department of Driver and Vehicle Services via an administrative review. During the review, the DVS will review your driving record and an explanation of the incident you are appealing. You may need to complete an administrative review if another person blows into the IID without your knowledge, or the device fails in some way. You will be considered responsible until you complete a review.

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Additional Resources

IID Program Overview – Read the full 16-page document provided by the Minnesota DPS/DVS regarding the state’s IID program. The document includes additional information on qualifying, completing and understanding the state’s IID program.

DWI Offenses – Read more about DWI offenses, including the full cost of a DWI, penalties, and driver’s license suspensions.

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Hire an Experienced DWI Defense Attorney in Apple Valley, Minnesota

As a former Assistant Dakota County Attorney, James Blumberg is familiar with how prosecutors build their cases and knows the pitfalls of drunk driving prosecution.

James Blumberg fights DWI charges in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including Dakota County, Scott CountySibley County, Rice CountyOlmsted CountyDodge County, and Carver County.

Call (952) 431-7758 to set up a free consultation.

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