News last fall that some ignition interlock devices were tracking the locations of program participants didn’t sit right with Rep. Peggy Scott (R-Andover).
“There wasn’t enough sunshine on the process,” said Scott, who sponsors HF179, which, in part, would prohibit ignition interlock devices to enable location tracking unless ordered by a court.SF347, sponsored by Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-St. Louis Park), has also been incorporated into SF817, sponsored by Sen. Warren Limmer (R-Maple Grove). Both Senate bills await Floor action.
GPS tracking of ignition interlock participants was one of the first issues tackled in the 2017 session, with a Jan. 5 informational hearing in the House Civil Law and Data Practices Policy Committee. Public Safety Commissioner Mona Dohman told the committee about 10,000 Minnesotans take part in the program, which requires them to blow into a device in order to start their vehicle. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start.
The bill would prohibit the Department of Public Safety from requiring geo-tracking in the devices. It would also remove an exemption from standard procedures for making rules on ignition interlock, requiring such rulemaking to follow existing law.
Participants would be required to receive notice about any such capabilities in the devices they use.
Rep. Jack Considine Jr. (DFL-Mankato) asked whether a judge could order GPS tracking when the offender is in court. Scott said yes. Rep. Debra Hilstrom (DFL-Brooklyn Center) said the court-order provision “takes care of those that need to be supervised.”
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