Reporting John Lauritsen
FARMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – A 34-year-old Farmington woman was arrested last Tuesday night in Dakota County and charged with her fourth DWI.
Jennifer Brody is one of about 3,000 DWI offenders in the state of Minnesota using the ignition interlock device. Last week, Brody allegedly cheated the system. It’s currently unclear as to how she cheated the system.
Jean Ryan of the Department of Public Safety says these things happen.
“I think with any program, you have times when things fail. And people circumvent or try to cheat the system,” said Ryan.
When Brody was pulled over, a deputy smelled alcohol coming from her vehicle. Upon noticing her ignition interlock system, the deputy asked her to start the car.
Brody tried, but the car never started. She then tried to flee police and was eventually tased before being arrested.
When the driver blows into the breathalyzer, a picture is taken and sent to Driver and Vehicle Services. If Brody had somebody else start her car, their photo will show up and that person can also face misdemeanor charges.
This incident is currently under investigation. What is known is that about 20 percent of DWI offenders are currently using the device. Brody’s case is a rare one.
“We know it’s effective. We want people to use it and we want to promote this device being used by offenders. Because it does provide them a legal way to drive a car,” said Ryan.
Minnesota has only seen a handful of cases in which someone has violated the interlock system.
Smart Start is the company who installed Brody’s ignition interlock. They believe that either someone started her car for her, or she started it sober and then started drinking while driving.
There is also a rolling re-test that happens occasionally while the vehicle is in operation.