DVS Logo

Driver and Vehicle Services

A Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety


Ignition Interlock Information for Partners  

What is Ignition Interlock and How Does it Work?

Ignition interlock is a device that is installed under the vehicle dashboard and is connected to the starter. For a person to start a vehicle they must blow into the device and measure an alcohol content under 0.02. If the alcohol content is at 0.02 or above, the car will not start and the information will be recorded and later transmitted to the monitoring authority. 

New Minnesota DWI Administrative License Sanctions beginning July 1, 2011

Administrative license sanctions imposed on drivers that are arrested for DWI will significantly change starting July 1, 2011. 
  • First-time DWI offenders with a 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level and all second time DWI offenders that choose not to use ignition interlock will not have driving privileges ranging from one (1) year to two (2) years depending on offense level.

  • DWI offenders with three (3) or more offenses in a 10 year period will be required to use the ignition interlock for a period of three (3) to six (6) years depending on offense level.
  • Interlock users will regain full driving privileges, ensuring they are driving with a valid license and not a threat on the roadway.
  • Interlock will be used to monitor chronic DWI offenders to verify reinstatement requirements.

Partner Resources for New DWI Sanctions

Legal Community

Since the DWI administrative sanctions often intertwine with the criminal penalties, it is important for the legal community to understand the changes to the DWI law. In addition to the information provided, the Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor handout will provide information specifically for prosecutors.


Probation officers play an important role in the DWI system and often interact most frequently with DWI offenders. Probation officers can encourage compliance with licensing requirements and installation of ignition interlock. Ignition interlock is a tool that can be used by probation to determine risk level for re-offense.

Law Enforcement

Minnesota law enforcement has always demonstrated that DWI enforcement is a primary focus of their efforts. Since law enforcement makes the initial contact with DWI offenders and future or current interlock users, it’s critical they understand how interlock works and what to do when encountering interlock at traffic stops.

DWI Enforcement Training Videos

  • DWI Stops and Expansion of the Stop  
    This training video explains the extent of the law related to driving, operating or being in physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Implied Consent
    This video trains law enforcement officers on implied consent law requirements and how to administer the law in the field.
  • Right to Counsel
    This video will help law enforcement officers understand the right to counsel that a defendant has during the implied consent advisory process.
  • Additional Testing
    This video offers information to law enforcement officers on the process of receiving additional, independent tests for DWI cases after a law enforcement test is given.
  • Ignition Interlock
    This video covers the ignition interlock program and its effectiveness as a tool in removing drunk drivers off the road.
  • DWI Enforcement Overview
    This video is a combination of each individual training presentation — DWI Stops and Expansion of the Stop; Implied Consent Law; Right to Counsel; Additional Testing; Criminal Vehicular Operation and Criminal Vehicular Homicide; Ignition Interlock.


 Law Enforcement Resources 

More information:


Phone: (651) 296-2948