Penalties for DWI in Minnesota

On Behalf of | Jul 13, 2020 | Drunk Driving

Drivers can receive a charge of driving while the influence in Minnesota with measured blood alcohol content of at least 0.08%. In fact, law enforcement can arrest you for DWI even if you are in a parked vehicle at the time of the arrest. 

If you face a DWI court date in Minnesota, learn more about the legal consequences for a conviction. 

First offense 

A first-time DWI is a misdemeanor in Minnesota, resulting in up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. However, some circumstances result in gross misdemeanor charges, including: 

  • Refusal to take a breath test 
  • BAC of 0.16% or above 
  • DWI with a passenger age 16 or younger 

A gross misdemeanor DWI conviction carries up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $3,000. Administrative penalties in your case may include 90-day to 12-month license suspension, license plate impoundment, vehicle forfeiture and a 12-month ignition interlock device requirement. 

Second or third offense 

second or third DWI in Minnesota within the same 10-year period as the first offense automatically constitutes a gross misdemeanor offense. You could receive up to 12 months in jail and fines of up to $3,000 for a conviction, along with administrative penalties. In addition, the third DWI conviction carries indefinite license cancellation and a three-year IID requirement upon reinstatement. 

Fourth offense 

For a fourth DUI in the same 10-year period, a convicted offender will receive felony charges. This offense carries up to $14,000 in fines and up to seven years in jail in Minnesota. The IID requirement extends to six years. Any DUI involving serious bodily harm or causing death will result in felony charges even with no prior convictions. 

In addition to these penalties, all Minnesota DUI offenders must undergo a substance use health assessment. Upon license reinstatement, you must pay a $680 court fee. Some drivers may qualify for a limited license, which allows travel for school, work and substance use treatment.