Judge Cites KSTP Stories, Orders Stop to GPS Tracking Devices Approved by State Agency

January 03, 2017 02:21 PM

A Hennepin County judge issued a temporary halt to the installation of devices, with GPS tracking capabilities, on the cars of thousands of Minnesotans convicted of DUI offenses. 

READ: Judge's ruling on GPS tracking issues regarding DUI offenders


Ignition interlocks require DUI offenders to take a breathalyzer test before their cars will start. 

The judge cited a series of stories by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS in her ruling and said, "news reports regarding the new, real-time reporting requirement and the potential constitutional issues created by GPS tracking ... indicated that the Plaintiff would hold off on beginning to retrofit units until the issue between the legislature and DVS (Division of Motor Vehicle Services) was resolved." 

RELATED: Lawsuit Claims Minnesota Department of Public Safety Violated Constitutional Rights of Ignition Interlock Users

The judge also said, "The government's installation of a GPS tracking device on a vehicle without a search warrant is an illegal search under the Fourth Amendment." 

Late last year, KSTP uncovered evidence that showed the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) had issued a new rule requiring DUI offenders, who use the ignition interlock systems, to have new devices installed in their cars by Jan. 1, 2017. 

KSTP also discovered most of these new ignition interlock systems have GPS tracking capabilities, which would allow the government to collect and store data about the location and places the DUI offender had driven without the consent of the driver. 

State Rep. Peggy Scott, R-Andover, chairs the House Civil Law and Data Practices Committee. 

She will hold legislative hearings Thursday and told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she was pleased by the judge's injunction.

"The judge did not mention the constitutional issue just once, but rather three or four times in her ruling, questioning the legality of placing these GPS tracking devices in the cars of people who have not given consent, and that's a big deal and a big problem," Scott said. 

DPS has declined repeated requests for interviews, but did issue a statement that said, in part, "While real-time reporting is required, no particular technology is mandated for ignition interlock devices.  DPS does not require, use, or store GPS data from these devices."


Jay Kolls

Copyright 2017 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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