Minnesota DUIs and DWIs
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Drivers may get charged with DUI and DWI in Minnesota for operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs. DUI offenses are generally considered serious traffic violations because such violations endanger public safety and may cause injuries or death to others.
Therefore, a DWI conviction may result in harsh penalties such as a driver’s license suspension or revocation, driving fines, prison sentence and a certain number of demerit points added to a motorist’s driving record. Learn more about MN DUI laws and the corresponding consequences by reading the sections below.
DUI Citations and Convictions in Minnesota
A DWI ticket in Minnesota may be issued to a driver who is pulled over by a police officer and found to be driving while impaired. A DWI conviction may occur when motorists are requested to submit to a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test and show a BAC level higher than the allowed 0.08 percent, or 0.02 for underage drivers.
Committing an offense may be considered either a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the severity of the offense and the number of previous violations an offender has on record.
Minnesota Under the Influence Violations and Penalties
DWI penalties in Minnesota vary depending on the severity of the offense and the number of previously committed traffic violations. Moreover, motorists may face severe DUI charges when the level of alcohol found in their blood after submitting to a BAC test is higher than 0.08 percent for adults or 0.02 percent for minor drivers.
Find out more MN drunk driving information by reading about the penalties offenders face.
First DUI Offense
Committing a DUI offense in Minnesota for the first time may result in harsh penalties such as a driver’s license revocation for 90 days, driving fine of $1,000 and a prison sentence for 90 days. In addition, drivers who are faced with a DUI conviction for the first time may be required to enroll in an Ignition Interlock Device Program.
Second DUI Offense
A second DUI violation committed within 10 years of a first offense results in a license revocation for a minimum period of 1 year. Moreover, drivers may be imprisoned for 1 year, required to pay a traffic fine of $3,000 and have their license plates impounded. Motorists who are charged with DUI violations for the second time may also be required to enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program.
Third DUI Offense
Committing a third DUI in Minnesota may be cause for drivers to lose their driving privileges for at least 3 years. The penalties for a third offense require drivers to:
- Submit to a chemical use treatment assessment.
- Enroll in the Ignition Interlock Device Program.
- Spend 1 year in prison and/or pay $3,000 driving fine.
- Forfeit vehicles.
- Forfeit car registration and license plates.
Fourth or Subsequent DUI Offense
A fourth DWI offense in Minnesota is considered a felony when you commit a violation within a period of 10 years, have a previous felony conviction on your driving record or have committed vehicular manslaughter while driving impaired.
Committing a fourth DWI will cause a loss of your driving privileges for a period of 4 years and a traffic fine of $14,000. In addition, the most severe DUI penalties in Minnesota include a prison sentence of up to 7 years with possible parole after 5 years.
Underage DUI Offense
Underage DUI charges apply to drivers who are younger than 21 years of age who operate vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Minnesota DUI laws prohibit underage drivers from operating their vehicles with any alcohol in their system.
Penalties for underage drunk driving consists of a driver’s license suspension for a period of 30 days. However, minors who commit a second DWI offense will have their driving privileges suspended for 180 days.
Drinking and Driving in Minnesota
Drivers may receive drunk driving charges in Minnesota for operating a vehicle while impaired. State law prohibits the use of either alcohol or drugs while driving on public roads. As a result of impaired driving, motorists may endanger the safety of other drivers, passengers and pedestrians due to the reduction in the driver’s attention and driving ability.
Motorists may receive DWI convictions in Minnesota as a result of committing vehicular manslaughter, which is a criminal offense since it causes bodily injuries or death to others. In case such as these, offenders may require the services of a DUI defense attorney in court.
Minnesota DUI Attorneys
A DUI defense attorney in Minnesota is a legal representative needed when dealing with DWI ticket laws and regulations. Drivers facing DUI and DWI charges are encouraged to conduct background checks for attorneys who can defend them in court. Hiring the best DUI lawyer in Minnesota gives offenders a better chance at clearing or reducing charges and sentencing.
Open Container Laws in Minnesota
Drivers may get DWI charges in Minnesota if found driving with open containers in their motor vehicles. Open Container laws in the state prohibit drinking and driving. According to this law, both driver and passengers are not allowed to drink or have an open container of alcohol while a vehicle is being driven. Open containers may be transported legally in the trunk or storage area of the vehicle.
Reinstating a Suspended Drivers License in Minnesota
A Minnesota DUI drivers license suspension requires drivers to reinstate their driving privileges after the suspension period is over by meeting a set of DMV requirements. The steps of the DUI suspended license reinstatement procedure may vary, depending on the reason for the suspension.
In some instances, drivers with DUI and DWI charges may be required by court to enroll in a traffic school in order to learn state driving laws and become safe drivers.
Note: SR-22 insurance may be required if you fail to present mandatory proof of auto insurance after a DUI. You are encouraged to contact the MN DMV in order to find out if you need to file an SR-22 as part of the reinstatement requirements.
Minnesota Alcohol Awareness Classes
In most U.S. states, drivers who face DUI charges are usually required to complete alcohol awareness classes when their license has been suspended. In Minnesota, drivers who are charged with a DWI should contact their local DMV branch to find out more information regarding eligibility requirements for traffic school courses.
By enrolling in DUI classes, drivers will learn impaired driving laws in the state. In addition, completing a DUI course may be one of the requirements for reinstating driving privileges.
Minnesota Laws That Pertain to DUI/DWI
DWI laws in Minnesota limit the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level, which allows drivers to operate a motor vehicle with less than 0.08 percent of alcohol. Motorists will be charged for driving with a BAC level above 0.08 percent for regular vehicles or 0.04 for commercial vehicles.
Minnesota Hardship License
Drivers who are charged with DWI in Minnesota may have the option to apply for a hardship license while waiting for their suspension period to be over. However, applying for a limited license while holding a DUI suspended license requires drivers to satisfy certain eligibility criteria. The application requirements may vary depending on the type of offense committed and will be valid for 90 days.