According to DUI laws in Minnesota, drivers whose blood alcohol level exceeds .08 percent are considered too impaired to operate a motor vehicle safely and are subject to arrest. A blood alcohol level between .08 and .20 percent is a misdemeanor in Minnesota while anything above .20 is a gross misdemeanor and subject to more severe penalties.
Minnesota DUI laws also allow for increased punishment if one of three aggravating factors is present at the time the driver is stopped by a police officer for suspicion of drunken driving. These include having a child present in the vehicle, having one or more previous drunken driving convictions in the past 10 years and having a blood alcohol that is greater than .20 percent.
DUI Laws in Minnesota for a First Time Offender
For a first drunken driving offense in the state of Minnesota, convicted drivers are subject to both administrative penalties and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties include license suspension for up to 90 days. Drivers who agree to use an ignition interlock device may have part or all of their license suspension waived. This piece of equipment makes it impossible for the driver to start his or her car. If the driver refuses to use the ignition lock, he or she faces the possibility of losing driving privileges for up to one full year.
Criminal penalties for first-time drunken driving offenders in Minnesota may include up to 90 days in jail, up to a ,000 fine and the arrest remaining on the driverâ€™s criminal record and driving history for up to 10 years. The fine assessed on a person convicted of drunk driving does not include other associated fees such as license reinstatement, the cost of hiring a DUI lawyer, restitution to any injured victims and other legal fees of this nature. License revocation periods and fines automatically double if the driver is guilty of any of the three aggravating factors.
Minnesota Penalties for Drivers Convicted of a Second Drunken Driving Offense
Drivers who are arrested for drunk driving twice within any 10-year time frame face more severe consequences than a first time offender. These include the following: license suspension for six months, payment of $700 to reinstate his or her driverâ€™s license, requirement of a SR-22 designation for insurance purposes, a fine of $3,000, impounding of license plates, a second DUI designation on the license plates once they are returned and a jail sentence ranging from 60 days to 12 months.
Obtaining Legal Assistance after a Minnesota DUI Arrest
Drivers charged with having a blood alcohol level of at least .08 percent should plan to hire a lawyer as soon as possible in an attempt to have the charges dropped or lessened.