What to expect if you’re charged with DWI in Minnesota
If you are charged with drunk or impaired driving in the state of Minnesota, you could face significant penalties. These penalties may include a license suspension, the loss of your vehicle and jail time. You may face additional sanctions in the event that you’re convicted of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
You could face penalties at the scene of a traffic stop
If you refuse to take a chemical test, you could be sentenced to up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. These penalties will likely be applied even if you are cleared of the DWI charge. Furthermore, if you are charged with aggravated DWI, the officer who takes you into custody may take the plates off of your vehicle. In some cases, the car will be seized and taken to an impound lot.
The penalties for a first offense
Minnesota law does not impose a minimum sentence for those who are charged with their first DWI offense. Therefore, it’s possible that, with an effective criminal defense strategy, you will avoid jail time, a fine or other serious penalties. However, a maximum sentence for a first offense includes 90 days in jail and a fine of $1,000.
You may need to use an ignition interlock device
As a requirement of reinstating your license, it may be necessary to install an ignition interlock device (IID) on your vehicle. The IID prevents your car from starting if it detects a tangible amount of alcohol on your breath.
A DWI conviction may make it harder to find employment or remain in school. Furthermore, the financial toll of a drunk driving conviction might make it harder to rent an apartment or maintain an adequate emergency fund. Although the legal blood alcohol limit is .08, you can be charged with DWI regardless of how much you drink prior to operating a motor vehicle.