MN Hospitality Advocate

Ignition Interlock Bill Hearing Today

Posted in General Advocacy, Restaurant Issues, State Laws by hospitalityminnesota on February 25, 2010

Today, if you are a first-time offender for driving under the influence, you face a three-month license revocation. Governor Pawlenty has proposed legislation that would extend that revocation to six months, but allow one to drive if they install what is known as an ignition interlock (blow and go) device. The bill gets its first hearing today in the Senate Transportation Committee. The bill is S.F. 2741 and can be found here. The companion House file is H.F. 3106.

This is a very difficult issue for us. We do not condone drinking and driving. We absolutely believe repeat offenders and those with high blood alcohol level content should be subject to this provision. Our concern is in regard to that person who happens to have a couple of beers and tests at .085, gets picked up on a first-time offense, and must install one of these devices to avoid license revocation. These devices require a monthly monitoring fee of approximately $100 and may require an installation and removal fee as well.

Knowing that this fate that might await you, we are concerned that individuals simply will not drink when they are out, or will have one or two fewer drinks to ensure that they don’t get dinged.  This could have a substantial impact economically on an industry that’s already been hammered with declining sales, the smoking ban, a recent minimum wage increase with no acknowledgment for tipped employees and increased fees and regulations.

We would strongly support the ignition interlock piece for repeat offenders, or even for first-time offenders at .15. For more information on this issue, see http://interlockfacts.com/ The bill likely will visit several committees and we’ll keep you posted as it progresses.

David Siegel, CAE, IOM
Minnesota Restaurant, Lodging and Resort & Campground Associations and Hospitality Minnesota

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