Most people know the legal limit for drinking and driving is .08% BAC for those 21 and over. Once you reach that point however, the laws can get pretty confusing. Here are some things you need to know about DUI/DWI laws in Minnesota.
“Pleading the Fifth” doesn’t really work. You cannot refuse a chemical test without some consequences. Minnesota has an implied consent law, meaning all drivers are required to submit to a chemical test of their blood, breath, or urine. In practice, this means that if you refuse a breathalyzer or a blood or urine test, you’ll get charged with test refusal, which is a gross misdemeanor offense. Test refusal also triggers a one-year license revocation.
A first-time DWI charge is usually a misdemeanor, or a Fourth-Degree DWI. This typically carries a license revocation of 90 days. The criminal penalties for a misdemeanor DWI include a maximum of 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000.00 fine.
A second offense is typically a Third-Degree DWI, which is a gross misdemeanor. This includes a license revocation of one year, a maximum jail sentence of one year and a minimum of 30 days in custody, and up to a $3,000.00 fine. Third-degree DWI charges also trigger license plate impoundment for one year. If you decide to drive, you must register for special plates, also known as “whiskey” plates.
A third offense is also a gross misdemeanor but carries a minimum of 90 days in jail. It also may trigger vehicle forfeiture where the State will seize your vehicle permanently.
If you receive a fourth offense in 10 years for intoxicated driving, you may be charged with a felony DWI. You will be required to undergo treatment and can possibly face prison time.
It is important to remember that for these charges, a conviction is considered a subsequent conviction if it occurs within 10 years of the prior offense.
DUI/DWIs can be tricky, but you don’t have to receive the maximum charge for your conviction. Keyser Law, P.A. can help you navigate the laws and provide you with appropriate representation. If you’ve been convicted of drunk driving, contact us and we’ll work tirelessly to help you.