Minnesota DWI Laws & Penalties

Minnesota Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms

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: 

Minnesota First Offense DWI Penalties

  • 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
  • DWI class required

Minnesota Second Offense DWI Penalties

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

Minnesota Third Offense DWI Penalties Within 10 Years

  • 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

Minnesota Fourth Offense DWI Penalties Within 10 Years

  • 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

Minnesota BAC Presumptions

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

Minnesota Implied Consent Law

  • 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.

Minnesota DUI 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.  

We have partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider here in the state of Minnesota and have worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Minnesota for any less.

Additional Minnesota DWI Resources
  • Minnesota DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DWI in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DWI class online today.
  • Minnesota SR22 Insurance – Learn everything you need to know about Minnesota SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Minnesota SR22 insurance.
  • Minnesota DUI Lawyers – Contact one of our Minnesota DWI lawyers today to discuss your pending DWI case.
  • Minnesota Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Minnesota bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Minnesota Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.