Alcohol and Minnesota Law

“Don’t Rely on Luck or Fate, Now that the Limit is .08″

Currently in the state of Minnesota, if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level is 0.08 or higher (0.04 in a commercial vehicle) and you are in control of a moving or parked vehicle, you can be arrested for driving while intoxicated (DWI). If a law enforcement officer can prove that alcohol caused you to commit driving errors, you can be convicted of DWI at lower alcohol concentrations.

Minnesota Impaired Driving Penalties Drivers License Sanctions

Many years ago, first offenders had a good chance of getting off with a small fine and required participation in drinking-drivers education classes. Today, the laws of most states, including Minnesota, impose stiff penalties if you get arrested for DWI. And those penalties are mandatory, meaning that judges must impose them.

Each year, over 30,000 people are arrested in Minnesota for DWI. Each person may experience unique criminal penalties in addition to administrative license sanctions, depending on the arrest situation and previous driving violations and criminal record.

If you were arrested for a first DWI offense in Minnesota, and assuming that your BAC was under .20, according to the state you could generally expect the following imposed penalties:

• Arrest – Misdemeanor
• Criminal Penalties – 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine
• Drivers License Sanctions – 90 day license revocation/30 day if plead guilty to DWI

If you refused BAC test (additional charge to DWI)

• Arrest – Gross Misdemeanor, License Plates Impounded
• Criminal Penalties – 1 Year in jail and/or $3,000 fine
• Drivers License Sanctions – 1 year license revocation/30 day if plead guilty to DWI, or 90 day if plead guilty to test refusal

In addition, all alcohol-related revocations of a Minnesota drivers license require a $680.00 reinstatement fee, DWI knowledge test, a drivers license application with fees, and a chemical assessment.

Note: The information above is a guide and should not be considered legal advice. This information is summarized from the State of Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety website. This information as well as additional information relating to penalties for second DWI, third and fourth offenses can be found at the following links.

Minnesota Impaired Driving Penalties and Drivers License Sanctions, Part 1
Minnesota Impaired Driving Penalties and Drivers License Sanctions, Part 2