Rochester DWI/DUI Defense Attorney

DWI in Minnesota

The Minnesota Impaired Driving Code is fifty pages long and governs all sorts of motor vehicles everywhere in the state. Here are some of its key points:

The penalties for DWI vary with the level of the offense. In Minnesota, there are four levels of DWI. The State can increase the severity of the charge if they can prove aggravating factors, such as:

  • Alcohol concentration greater than .16;
  • Prior DWI arrests within the last ten years;
  • A child in the car at the time of the incident; or
  • Refusal to submit to testing.

The penalties for the four degrees vary significantly:

  • Fourth-Degree DWI. This is the lowest-level DWI and is punished as an ordinary misdemeanor.
  • Third-Degree DWI. This is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. Depending on the facts of the case, there may be mandatory-minimum jail time or mandatory alcohol monitoring.
  • Second-Degree DWI. This is also a gross misdemeanor. There may be ninety days’ mandatory-minimum jail time. If someone is accused of a second-degree DWI, police often take the car in a process called forfeiture.
  • First-Degree DWI. If a person commits four DWIs in ten years, the fourth offense is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison. Even if the person is allowed a chance at probation, they face a six-month mandatory minimum sentence in the local jail.

In all DWIs, drivers lose their license. For how long depends on a number of factors, but it can range from ninety days to multiple years. The driver’s license revocation is usually a civil process, independent of the criminal charge.

To schedule a free initial consultation with Walters & Wintering, Ltd., call (507) 281-5872, or simply contact us online.