Minnesota is very hard on drunk drivers. According to the DMV, a mere first conviction within a 10-year period can get a person’s license revoked for 90 days. That can be catastrophic for many people. Most of us need our cars to get to work or school, and our families depend on our being able to drive. Naturally, any way that we can get our licenses back is good, even if it has many strings attached.
This is why Minnesota has the work permit, limited license, or, as the DMV calls it, the hardship license.
What Is a Limited License?
Limited license, work permit, and hardship license are three names for the same thing. It’s a paper license that allows you to drive under certain circumstances and for a certain number of hours. Normally, you can drive to and from work, school, and chemical dependency treatment programs. The usual maximum amount of time that you can drive is 60 hours a week.
Who Can Get One?
Let’s start with who needs one: people convicted of a DWI can lose their license for 90 days. Someone with a first DWI conviction can apply for a limited license within 22 days of that person’s arrest. Your second offense in 2 years can get your license revoked for a year.
People who have been convicted of 3 or more DWI offenses are declared dangerous to public safety and their license is canceled for 3 or more years. The only way such a person can get back on the road during those years is through the ignition interlock program (where they install a breathalyzer in your car) and a limited license. They let you use the interlock program for 2 years and the limited license for 1.
The following factors could make you eligible for a limited license:
- Being currently employed or a full-time homemaker.
- Being on your first conviction in 10 years.
- Being unable to rideshare or use public transportation.
- Having had a BAC below .16 when you complied with the Alcohol Concentration test.
- Needing a car to get to work, a chemical dependency treatment program, or a post-secondary education program.
- Needing a car to get your kids to school, or provide for your children’s nutritional and medical needs.
What Hurdles Do You Have to Jump to Get One?
The state of Minnesota does not hand these limited licenses out for free. There are a number of steps you will have to take in order to apply for one:
- Take the DMV’s written test on drunk driving.
- Pay a $680 reinstatement fee.
- Apply for license reinstatement and pay the $26.75 application fee.
- Take a driving test.
- Go to the Department of Public Safety and meet with an evaluator to apply for a limited license after 22 days of a suspended license. Remember to bring your test score sheet.
Even after all that, you might not get the license. These are given on a first-come, first-served basis and aren’t guaranteed.
How a Licensed Attorney Can Help
You have a limited time to get through this process, and everyone’s situation is different. You may need to fight the revocation, or even contest the ticket. It’s a good idea to call on someone with experience and knowledge about the process and laws pertaining to DWI’s just to know what steps to take and what your options are.
If you are dealing with a DWI, feel free to contact our St. Paul office and talk to one of our attorneys. We have decades of experience with this area of the law, and we are dedicated to helping people get the help that they need.