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Underage DUI in Minnesota

DWI laws apply equally to drivers of all ages.  However, there are two additional alcohol-related laws for underage drinkers (under age 21).  Drivers aged 16 or 17 are within the jurisdiction of the adult court, not the juvenile court and as such are subject to the full range of penalties and consequences.  Any violation of the drinking age law is a misdemeanor and carries a mandatory minimum fine of $100.  It does not result in license suspension/cancellation, unless the underage drinker has used a driver’s license, Minnesota ID card, or any type of false identification to purchase or attempt to purchase alcohol (90 day suspension).  For the purposes of these laws, a person reaches the age of 21 at 8am on the day of their birth.

Since Minnesota has a zero tolerance policy for underage drinking, the DWI law provides misdemeanor penalties and driver’s license suspension for any driver under the age of 21 convicted of operating a motor vehicle while consuming alcohol or while there is physical evidence of such consumption present in the person’s body.


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