DUI in Minnesota

In Minnesota the consequences for DUI are two-fold --- a criminal court case and a Department of Public Safety hearing. However, the big difference between Minnesota and the other states is that they allow you to speak with a DUI/DWI attorney before taking a chemical test to determine your BAC. Also, be aware that in Minnesota, refusing to take a chemical test will result in a separate, punishable criminal offense.

In the state of Minnesota, an officer can make an arrest for the following drunk driving offenses:

  • Driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or greater
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances, or a combination of these
  • Operating a vehicle by a driver who knows he or she is under the influence of a hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or body muscles
  • If under 21, driving with a BAc of .02 or greater
  • If a commercial driver, driving with a BAC of .04 or greater

Consequences of Arrest and Conviction

The initial punishment for a DWI conviction includes fines, driver's license consequences, mandatory alcohol education classes, and up to a 90-day jail sentence as outlined in the below table.

Minnesota DUI Penalties

Court Fines Potential Jail Time License Suspension
1st Conviction Up to 1,000 Up to 90 days
Minimum of 90 days*
2nd Conviction Up to 3,000 Up to 1 year Minimum of 180 days
3rd Conviction Up to 3,000 Up to 1 year Minimum of 1 year
4th Conviction Up to 14,000 Up to 7 years Up to 4 years

*this may be reduced if you plea guilty, you will need to pay $680 reinstatement fee

If you may have been convicted with a DUI charge, consult with a DUI Attorney in your area to receive a free case review.

If the first conviction is deemed a gross misdemeanor because of aggravating factors, then the consequences include fines up to $3,000 and up to one year in jail. The second offense (if it occurs within 10 years of the first one) is considered a gross misdemeanor and carries up to a one-year jail sentence and up to a $3,000 fine.

If there is a third arrest and conviction within that same 10-year period, the vehicle is immediately impounded (maybe permanent loss) and the person faces increased jail time. In addition, they are required to have an alcohol abuse evaluation. If they are not an alcoholic, the burden of proof is on them. Should there be a fourth offense, within the 10-year period, here are the possible consequences:

  • Offense is upgraded to felony status
  • Fines of not less than $14,000
  • Up to three years in jail

Driver's License Repercussions

Refusal to take a breath test results in immediate revocation of your driver's license for at least one year. Additionally, scoring over 0.08 per cent on the breath test will result in the following consequences:

  • A minimum of 90 days in jail, or six months if you are under 21, or if your license was revoked for the same offense in the last 10 years
  • If your BAC exceeds 0.20 per cent, then the jail times are doubled

To have your driving privileges reinstated, you will be required to do the following:

  • Pass a written DUI/DWI driver's test
  • Re-apply for your driver's license, pay an $18.50 reapplication fee, and pay reinstatement fees of $680
  • Comply with any other mandatory Driver and Vehicle Services requirements (e.g. completion of alcohol treatment or attend alcohol awareness seminars)

Ignition Interlock Device (IID)

An IID forces you to pass a breath test with a BAC of no more than 0.02 per cent before you can start your vehicle and drive. In addition to being subjected to the device, you are required to pay installation, maintenance, and monthly rental costs of the device.

Chemical Testing and Implied Consent Laws

Under Minnesota state law, any licensed person operating a motor vehicle automatically gives his or her consent to an approved test (blood, breath, or urine) for the purposes of showing intoxication. Refusing to take a test will incur consequences including license suspension for one year. A driver stopped for a possible DUI offense has the right to contact a lawyer prior to submitting to a chemical test.

Blood tests must be carried out by a doctor, medical technician, paramedic, nurse, laboratory technician, or laboratory assistant. In addition, a driver accused of a DUI offense has the right to request a second, independent, chemical test at his or her own expense.

If you may have been convicted with a DUI charge, consult with a DUI Attorney in your area to receive a free case review.
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