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There is a lot going on concerning DWI laws in Minnesota. A way I like to keep up is keeping a eye on Chuck Ramsey’s blog and the changes that are taking place as a result of the litigation over the intoxilizer challenges. Between that issue and the problem with urine tests you wonder about many of the past convictions out there.

Now we have a new tool that will be seeing greater use in Minnesota. Starting July 1, 2011, breath-testing ignition lock-out devices will be required equipment in the vehicles of thousands of Minnesotans whose licenses are invalid because of a DWI arrest but who want to continue to drive. It will be interesting to see how well the machines work.

There are cost issues that need to be worked out and I am always interested in who gets those contracts. It can be a nice money making monopoly for some companies. It also will be worth watching what happens in other states.

I do like the idea of getting people safely back on the road. A system that takes the driver’s license seems to breed more driving after revocations and driving with out insurance. When these cases snowball, the person is looking at never getting his or her driver’s license back and always being an illegal driver. Hopefully, it’s one of the items that works out well.


  1. Gravatar for Ed Cohen


    I am one of the owners of Smart Start MN. There are no contracts that any provider has with the State. In Minnesota, it will be unlikely that there will be a monopoly, as any company that can meet the certification standards laid out by the State will be able to operate here. Competition between the companies will ultimately set the pricing for the ignition interlock market.

    BTW, the machines work quite well

    Ed Cohen

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