Not to be confused with bail bonds for those who have been arrested for committing a DWI, DWI ignition interlock bonds are a type of surety bond that are generally required by prosecutors for people who have been convicted of a committing a DWI and have entered the state’s Ignition Interlock Program. This program will help you get back into your vehicle and on the road after a DWI conviction and without going through the court’s vehicle forfeiture proceedings (should you complete the program).
These types of bonds provide protection should the person who enters the Ignition Interlock Program tamper with the device or fail to uphold the terms of the program. The bond amount is usually close to the retail value of your vehicle, and you will not be able to drive until you obtain a bond. Keep in mind that you may also be required to pay for the costs of towing, storing and returning your vehicle.
Understanding the Four Degrees of DWI Charges in Minnesota
According to the Overview of Minnesota’s DWI Laws (please refer to the MN criminal code for the most up-to-date laws and information) there are four degrees of DWIs in Minnesota:
- Fourth Degree DWI: This is charged when a person commits a DWI and has not refused a test and does not have any aggravating factors*. This is a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
- Third Degree DWI: This is charged when a person commits a DWI and refuses a test or has one aggravating factor. This is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
- Second Degree DWI: This is charged when a person commits a DWI and either refuses a test and has one aggravating factor, or has two aggravating factors. This is a gross misdemeanor and is punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.
- First Degree DWI: This is charged when a person commits their fourth impaired driving incident within a ten-year period, has committed a DWI after a previous felony DWI or has a criminal vehicular operation conviction.
*Some aggravating factors include qualified prior impaired driving incidents within ten years, a blood alcohol content of .16 or more upon arrest or the presence of a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle (if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender).
Getting DWI Bonds in Minnesota
If you have entered the Ignition Interlock Program and have been ordered by the court to place an ignition interlock on their vehicle, you will likely need to obtain a bond. If this is the case, know that the Patrick J. Thomas Agency can help you obtain this bond. Contact our team today to obtain a bond.
Disclaimer: this is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. If you need legal counsel, please contact an attorney directly.