Minnesota DWI Laws & Penalties

DUI laws and penalties, fines, license suspension, sr22 filing

Minnesota DWI is best defined by the specific violations:

  • First Degree DWI - §169A.24
  • Second Degree DWI - §169A.25
  • Third Degree DWI - §169A.26
  • Fourth Degree DWI - §169A.27

Reference:  Minnesota DPS

If you are stopped for suspicion of driving under the influence in Minnesota, the officer will perform a breath test. If your blood alcohol level was .10 or higher, you will be arrested for a Minnesota DWI. In the state of Minnesota, you could face four different degrees of DWI, depending on which of the state’s aggravating factors were present when you were stopped.



Minnesota DWI Aggravating Factors

The aggravating factors in Minnesota are as follows: 

  • Driving with a blood alcohol level of .20 or more
  • A past DWI conviction in the last ten years
  • Having a child under 16 in the car

Depending on how many of these conditions are present at the time of your Minnesota DWI arrest, you are facing one of four different degrees of DWI charges. Each one carries different consequences. Remember, however, that when you are arrested for a Minnesota DWI, you have the right to speak to an attorney before you take a chemical blood test. You should take advantage of this right, but remember that if you refuse to take the chemical test you will have a separate offense against you on top of your Minnesota DWI charges. 

Degrees of Charges for a Minnesota DWI

In a Minnesota DWI case, you will be charged with a specific degree of the crime. If you are a first time offender and have no other aggravating factors, your crime will be labeled a fourth degree DWI. This is considered a misdemeanor. You can be sentenced to ninety days or less in jail and pay $1000 in fines. You will lose your license for ninety days. 

If you have one aggravating factor against you, or if you refuse to take the chemical test to determine your alcohol level, then you are facing a third degree Minnesota DWI. This means that you are charged with a gross misdemeanor and face up to a year of incarceration and a fine that can be as high as $3000. You could lose your license for up to six months. 

Two aggravating factors are considered a second degree Minnesota DWI. This means that you face gross misdemeanor charges and the same punishments as the third degree charges. However, if you are guilty of two aggravating factors you will also have your vehicle impounded. 

If you have all three of the aggravating factors present, you will be looking at up to five years in jail and a felony charge. Not only that, but the fine jumps to $10,000. Your car will be impounded and you will lose your license indefinitely. You should talk to a lawyer to ensure that your driving privileges are protected. Here is a summary of the different degrees of charges: 

First Offense Minnesota DWI

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Up to $1,000 in fines
  • $130 chemical assessment surcharge
  • $35 criminal/traffic surcharge
  • Up to 90 days license suspension

Second Offense Minnesota DWI

  • Minimum 30 days in jail up to 1 year in jail
  • Up to $3,000 in fines
  • $130 chemical assessment
  • $35 criminal/traffice surcharge
  • Up to 180 days drivers license suspension
  • Possible vehicle impounding

Third Offense Within 10 Years Minnesota DWI

  • Minimum 90 days in jail up to 1 year
  • Up to $3,000 in fines
  • $130 chemical assessment surcharge
  • $35 criminal/traffic surcharge
  • Minimum 1 year license revocation
  • Possible vehicle impounding

Fourth Offense Within 10 Years Minnesota DWI

  • Minimum 180 days in jail up to 1 year
  • Up to $3,000 in fines
  • $130 chemical assessment surcharge
  • $35 criminal/traffic surcharge
  • Minimum 2 year license revocation
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture

Fifth or Subsequent Offense Within 10 Years Minnesota DWI

  • Minimum 1 year in jail
  • Up to $3,000 in fines
  • $130 chemical assessment surcharge
  • $35 criminal/traffic surcharge
  • Minimum 2 year license revocation
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture

First Degree within 10 years Minnesota DWI

  • Felony offense
  • 3 to 7 years in prison
  • Up to $14,000 in fines
  • $130 chemical assessment surcharge
  • $35 criminal/traffic surcharge
  • Minimum 2 year license revocation
  • Possible vehicle forfeiture

Minnesota BAC Assumptions

  • BAC levels of .04 or greater are considered to be relevent evidence of driver impairment, but not assumed.

Minnesota Implied Consent Laws

  • Chemical testing is allowed. Blood, breath or urine to be selected by the officer.
  • The officer is required to advise the defendant that a breath test is required and that the refusal to submit is a crime. The defendant has the right to contact an attorney prior to testing.
  • Test results of .08 or greater result in a 30 day license suspension.
  • Test refusal carries a 1 year license suspension. BAC evidence is admissible in court.

Chemical Testing

  • Blood draws must be performed by a licensed physician, registered nurse or other qualified individual.
  • The defendant has the right to an independent chemical test. The costs of the independent test are the responsibility of the defendant.
  • Minnesota has no statutory provisions regarding the disclosure of test results to the defendant or their Minnesota DWI attorney.

Minnesota SR22 Insurance

Minnesota state requires those convicted of DWI offenses to maintain SR22 insurance for a period of 3 years after they get their driving privileges back.  SR22 insurance is a type of high risk auto insurance policy, and mostly only specialized high risk auto insurance companies do these types of policies.

To learn more about Minnesota SR22 insurance policies and to get a very competitive free rate quote visit our SR-22 pages.  We've partnered with the largest and most trusted provider of SR22 insurance in the state of Minnesota and they can offer you the lowest rate available with great service.  

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Additional Minnesota DWI Resources