State Laws

Minnesota DUI Laws

     

Minnesota DUI Basics
Minnesota DUI and DWI laws are often considered to be some of the harshest in the United States. The punishments for driving under the influence, as well as the convictions, depend on prior DUI offenses and the number of offenses. Punishments can also increase if a minor under sixteen years of age is in the motor vehicle.

Minors have different DUI conviction levels than adults. The normal legal blood alcohol content level in Minnesota is 0.08 percent for adults. The court will decide upon a minor's punishments, depending on the circumstances. Minnesota also separates its driving while intoxicated offenses into varying degrees of severity. If an individual has a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent or greater the court will automatically install a one thousand-dollar fine along with other fines and punishments. This can often be equivalent to a second degree DWI offense.

Chemical Testing
Minnesota has different chemical testing stipulations than other states. Before an individual can be arrested for DUI, he or she has the right to contact his or her lawyer before submitting to chemical testing. If no personal lawyer is possible, the officer will provide the individual with a phonebook. Unlike other states if an individual refuses to submit to chemical testing after a drunk driving arrest, he or she will be prosecuted under different charges.

Minnesota DUI Consequences
The number of DUI offenses will determine the charge. A first-time offense is considered a fourth-degree misdemeanor offense. A second DUI offense is considered a third-degree gross misdemeanor. A third DUI offense is considered a second-degree gross misdemeanor. And a fourth DUI offense is considered a first-degree felony. Minnesota breaks its drunk driving convictions into four different degrees of severity.

A first-degree DWI offense is considered a first degree DUI felony offense and includes previous drunk driving convictions in the past ten years, a blood alcohol content percentage above 0.20, and having a child in the vehicle at the time of the arrest. These are called aggravating factors. Punishments can include imprisonment up to five years with a fine of ten thousand dollars.

An individual's driver's license will also be suspended. A second-degree offense with extreme blood alcohol content percentages, prior offenses, or child endangerment is punishable by up to one year of imprisonment and a fine of three thousand dollars. An individual's driver's license may also be suspended upon two aggravating factors.

A third-degree DWI offense can include one aggravated factor and may also be installed if an individual refuses to take a chemical test upon a first offense. Punishments for third-degree offenses include up to one year of imprisonment and up to three thousand dollars in fines. Law enforcement will also maintain the individual until the first court date.

A fourth-degree offense will be charged if no aggravating factors are present. An individual cannot have his or her driver's license previously revoked and may not have any prior convictions. The individual's blood alcohol content also cannot be twice the amount of the legal limit. A fourth-degree DWI offense can earn up to ninety days of imprisonment and a fine of one thousand dollars.

See also:
Minnesota Felony
Minnesota Gun Laws
Minnesota Divorce
Minnesota Misdemeanor External link (opens in new window)
Minnesota Expungement External link (opens in new window)