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Minnesota DUI Laws

There are four degrees for a DWI (driving while intoxicated) offense in Minnesota that are separated by the number of qualified prior impaired driving incidents and aggravating factors.  A qualified prior impaired driving incidents includes both prior impaired driving convictions and impaired driving-related losses of license (implied consent revocations) or operating privileges.  A conviction or loss of license or operating privileges, apply to separate driving incidents within the preceding ten years involving any kind of motor vehicle.  An aggravating factor is a qualified prior impaired driving incident within the preceding ten years, and BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .20 or more upon arrest and f there is a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle, if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender.  The last two aggravating factors (BAC and child) do not apply for a firs-degree DWI).

The fourth degree is the lowest for a person’s first impaired driving violation (IDV) within ten years or first IDV violation of a test refusal or another aggravating factor), as a misdemeanor with a $1000 fine and punishable for up to ninety days of jail.  A driver may get a license suspension of up to 90 days, up to 180 days if the alcohol concentration is .20 or above or a passenger under 16 years of age is in the vehicle, up to one year if the driver refuses a DWI test or limited license with a wait period of 15 days if there are no aggravating factors.

The third degree is a gross misdemeanor punishable up to one year with a fine of $3000.  A third degree DWI is applicable to a person’s second impaired driving violation within ten years or a first IDV with test refusal or other aggravating factor.  A driver’s license may be suspended up to 180 days, up to 360 days if the BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) is .20 or above or if a passenger under 16 years of age is in the vehicle or a limited license with a wait period of up to 90 days.

A second degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor applicable to a person’s third impaired driving violation or second IDV with test refusal and one other aggravating factor or first IDV with two aggravating factor.  A driver’s license may be cancelled indefinitely pending treatment, rehabilitation or abstinence for one year.

A first degree DWI is a felony punishable up to seven years imprisonment and a $14,000 fine and covers a person’s fourth IDV within ten years or anytime if a person has had a felony DWI or criminal vehicular operation convection.  Aggravating factors are not considered for this degree of a DWI.


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