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Is There a Difference between Drunk and Drugged Driving in MN?
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Category: Drug Crimes | DWI/DUI

Is There a Difference between Drunk and Drugged Driving in MN?

 

If you are charged in Minnesota with drugged driving, you may be wondering if the possible penalties or charges you face are less severe than driving under the influence of alcohol. Well, not to be the bearer of bad news, but that’s unfortunately not the case.

 

In some states, there is a legal distinction between drunk and drugged driving, but in Minnesota, there is no distinction. A DWI, the charge faced by most people under the influence of drugs while driving, can also be charged for being under the influence of alcohol.

 

Here is what you need to know about DWI charges and penalties in Minnesota. This will help clear up what you may be facing if you’ve been charged with this crime over the holidays.

 

DWI Laws in Minnesota

 

DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated” under Minnesota law. That intoxication can stem from being under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.

 

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal to operate, be in physical control of, or drive a motor vehicle when any of the following things are true:

 

  • The person driving is under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or another intoxicating substance.
  • The person driving has a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or higher.
  • The person driving has a Schedule I or Schedule II substance other than marijuana in any amount in their system.
  • The person driving is at the wheel of a commercial vehicle and has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent or higher.

 

It should also be noted that refusing to submit to a chemical test if an officer has probable cause to suspect you of a DWI in Minnesota is also against the law.

 

Penalties for DWI in Minnesota

 

There are many factors that can influence the penalties someone can face for a DWI in Minnesota. Often, penalties correlate with the number of previous DWI convictions a person has on their record.

 

First Offense

 

If it’s your first DWI, then you may face up to three months in jail for this misdemeanor charge. You may also have to pay fines of as much as $1,000 and have your license suspended for a period of 90 days.

 

Second Offense

 

This is considered a gross misdemeanor and can result in up to 12 months in jail and fines of as much as $3,000. You may also lose your license for up to one year and have your license plate impounded. In some cases, the judge may impose a 30-day mandatory jail sentence.

 

Third Offense

 

For the third offense in a period of 10 years, you’re looking at gross misdemeanor charges. That can result in up to $3,000 in fines and a period of three months in jail. You can also lose your license and have your vehicle forfeited.

 

Penalties for DWI in Minnesota

 

 

Fourth Offense

 

A fourth offense in 10 years is a felony. Potentially, you could go to prison for up to seven years and be responsible for fines of as much as $14,000. Also, your license can be canceled and your vehicle forfeited.

 

Don’t think the absence of alcohol means that you won’t face consequences for driving while intoxicated in Minnesota. You can certainly be held accountable for operating a vehicle when you shouldn’t legally be. A conviction can follow you around for the rest of your days, impacting many different areas of your life.

 

 

About the Author:

Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyers is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.

 


If You Need a Top Minnesota Criminal Lawyer Call 312-338-5007

MINNEAPOLIS & ST. PAUL CRIMINAL DEFENSE & DWI LAW FIRM SERVING

 

With offices in Minneapolis and Stillwater, Minnesota, Keyser Law, P.A. handles cases throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area including:

 

HENNEPIN COUNTY

 

Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Champlin, Chanhassen, Corcoran, Crystal, Dayton, Deephaven, Eden Prairie, Edina, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenfield, Greenwood, Hanover, Hopkins, Independence, Long Lake, Loretto, Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Minnetrista, Mound, New Hope, Orono, Osseo, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Rockford, Rogers, Shorewood, Spring Park, St. Anthony Village, St. Bonifacius, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, Woodland and Hassan Township.

WASHINGTON COUNTY

 

Afton, Bayport, Birchwood Village, Cottage Grove, Dellwood, Forest Lake, Grant, Hugo, Lake Elmo, Lake St. Croix Beach, Lakeland Shores, Lakeland, Landfall, Mahtomedi, Marine on St. Croix, Newport, Oak Park Heights, Oakdale, Pine Springs, Scandia, St. Marys Point, St. Paul Park, Stillwater, Willernie, White Bear Lake, Woodbury, Baytown, Denmark, Grey Cloud Island, May, West Lakeland, Garen and Point Douglas.

RAMSEY COUNTY

Arden Hills, Blaine, Falcon Heights, Gem Lake, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Maplewood, Mounds View, New Brighton, North Oaks, North St. Paul, Roseville, Shoreview, St. Anthony, St. Paul, Spring Lake Park, Vadnais Heights, White Bear Lake and White Bear Lake Township.

ANOKA COUNTY

Andover, Anoka, Bethel, Blaine, Centerville, Circle Pines, Columbia Heights, Columbus, Coon Rapids, East Bethel, Fridley, Ham Lake, Hilltop, Lexington, Lino Lakes, Nowthen, Oak Grove, Ramsey and St. Francis.

DAKOTA COUNTY

Apple Valley, Burnsville, Coates, Eagan, Farmington, Hampton, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Miesville, New Trier, Northfield, Randolph, Rosemount, South St. Paul, Sunfish Lake, Vermillion and West St. Paul.

MINNEAPOLIS