First Offense DWI in Minnesota

According to the State of Minnesota, over 30,000 drivers are arrested each year for driving while intoxicated. The penalties for first time offenders includes administrative penalties (license suspensions) and criminal penalties. If the first-time offender has a BAC over .16, the driver must use an ignition interlock system.

Administrative Penalties

  • First time offenders who have a BAC under .16 will receive 90 days of no driving privileges. The driver has a choice of the following: (1) 15 days of no driving privileges and a limited license for remaining 90-day period or (2) Full driving privileges for 90-day period with use of ignition interlock. The 90 days is reduced to 30 days with a guilty 
  • If the driver's BAC is  .16 or over and/or there is a child in the vehicle, the penalty is either one year of no driving privileges OR one year of an ignition interlock restricted driver’s license. In addition, the license plates may be impounded and vehicle forfeited.
  • Refusals to submit under Minnesota’s implied consent laws result in mandatory license revocation of one (1) year for first offenders. The Driver has a choice of the following: (1) 15 days of no driving privileges and a  limited license for remainder of the year or (2) Full driving privileges for the year with use of ignition interlock

How Much Will it Cost?

To get an idea of how much a first offense DUI will cost you, see our article on the cost of a DUI.

Criminal Penalties

  • Drivers with a BAC under .20 are guilty of a misdemeanor and will receive 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine. (There is no minimum mandatory jail time.) The sentence is enhanced ($3,000 fine) if the driver had a child in the vehicle. If the BAC is .20 or higher, it is a gross misdemeanor with a sentence of one year in jail and/or $3,000 fine. The vehicle is forfeited.
  • Convictions for first offense DUI in Minnesota will affect sentencing of future DUI arrests and convictions for a period of ten (10) years

Getting Legal Help

The state of Minnesota does not prohibit reduction of DUI charges into lesser criminal offenses by statute, but in practice, obtaining such a favorable plea option will require the insight and intervention of a DUI lawyer. Likewise, defendants should actively seek out legal counsel with the intention of having their charges dismissed as well. For more information, consult with a Minnesota first DUI lawyer.

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