What Happens if You are Charged with DWI in Minnesota?

2184957451_4749c220f0_bA night on the town with friends is a great way to end a long week. From getting dressed up to eating at a restaurant to dancing to drinks, it is a fun way to unwind and catch up with good people. When the night comes to an end, however, the last place you want to end up is behind the wheel of your car, pulled over on the highway for driving while intoxicated.

In the state of Minnesota, there are four degrees of impaired driving, which includes driving while intoxicated. The penalties for impaired driving depend on factors at the time the crime was allegedly committed. Those factors include number of prior offenses, the presence of children, and the concentration of alcohol in your system.

First Offense

If it’s the first time you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, it is a fourth degree DWI, which is a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for it is $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. There is also the possibility of having your license suspended for 90 days and an interlock ignition device installed in your car.

Second Offense

The second time you get pulled over, the classification of your DWI goes up to a third degree DWI, which is a gross misdemeanor. The maximum penalty triples to $3,000 and you could also spend up to one year in jail. The possibility of a 180-day license suspension is also in place.

Third Offense

For the third offense, classified as a second degree DWI, is also a gross misdemeanor. The monetary and jail penalties remain the same, but the suspension of a license is a minimum of one year.

Fourth Offense

The fourth offense of driving while intoxicated is a felony. The fines skyrocket to $14,000 and the jail time can be up to seven years. Your license can be suspended for up to four years.

If the financial strain and jail time alone is not bad enough, being charged with a DWI can affect your job, your ability to find a new job, your ability to obtain auto insurance, your eligibility for housing and educational programs, and much more.

The legal limit of intoxication in Minnesota is a blood alcohol content level of .08. There are helpful charts to help visualize what legally drunk looks like. To ensure you are not driving legally drunk, simply find a sober ride home, be it a friend, a taxi, or a family member.

If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, know there are resources to help you. The lawyers at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss Attorneys will work hard to help keep you out of jail and avoid paying the hefty fines. Contact them and schedule an appointment with one of their skilled attorneys to help you with your case.

 

Photo courtesy of Patrick Fitzgerald

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