Jennifer Brody was arrested last Tuesday night and charged with her fourth DWI despite being on the ignition interlock system. Believe it or not, Ms. Brody was driving a car with a Smart Start Ignition Interlock device installed in it.
When Brody was pulled over, the officer smelled the odor of alcohol coming from her vehicle. When he noticed the ignition interlock system, the officer asked her to start her car. Brody tried, but the car never started. She then tried to flee police and was eventually tased before being arrested.
Smart Start, the company that installed Brody’s ignition interlock system, is a program that allows a person whose driver’s license is revoked due to an alcohol related incident, to have restricted driving privileges sooner than would otherwise be allowed. Prior to starting a vehicle with an installed ignition interlock device, a driver is prompted to take a breath test. If the driver’s breath sample is negative for the presence of alcohol, the car may be started. After the breath test has been supplied, the interlock requests random tests every 10-45 minutes. The driver has only 6 minutes to take the test or it will count as a violation and will instantaneously ask for another test. If the driver ignores more than 3 tests, the vehicle will go into a lockout.
To be certified in MN, an ignition interlock device must have a camera that snaps an image of the person providing the breath sample. One would think that a camera would ensure that only the driver would submit to the breath the test. How is it possible that Jennifer Brody was able to start her car, and continue driving despite the random tests that are given?
Minnesota DWI Lawyer, Avery Appelman, suggests that there is any number of ways to cheat the Smart Start Interlock Device, “presumably Ms. Brody had a friend in her car who was able to provide a clean sample.” Mr. Appelman opined that Ms. Brody’s situation is quite severe, “she intentionally breached the agreement she had with the state to comply with the interlock program, making this 4th DWI even more aggravated.” Mr. Appelman said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if Ms. Brody was facing some incarceration as a result of her 4th DWI while on the interlock program.”
Obviously, Ms. Brody’s case is a serious Minnesota DWI offense. If you or someone you know is charged with an alcohol related offense in Minnesota, call the criminal trial lawyers at Appelman Law Firm.