What to Expect After Your First DWI Offense in Minnesota

handcuffs, keys, and alcohol

What Happens After Your First Minnesota DWI Offense

Each year, over 25,000 drivers are arrested in Minnesota for driving while impaired — a charge which indicates that a person is being accused of endangering themselves and/or others by driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. According to the State of Minnesota, 60% of these arrests were first-time offenders.

The penalties for a first-time offense can be severe, and drivers should always rely on the help of an experienced DWI lawyer for guidance in their case. Here’s what you should know about this charge from our expert attorneys at Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC.

Penalties for a First-Time DWI Charge

In the state of Minnesota, if your alcohol-concentration level (BAC) is 0.08 or higher for a civilian driver (or 0.04 in a commercial vehicle,) while you are in control of a moving or parked vehicle, you can be arrested for DWI and face possible criminal penalties and sanctions.

Even for a first-time charge, a DWI can have serious implications for the driver. The possible penalties for drivers 21 or over depending on your level of alcohol-concentration may include:

Alcohol-Concentration Between 0.08 and 0.16

First-time offenders with a BAC under 0.16 are charged with a misdemeanor and may face 90 days in jail and/ or a $1,000 fine. Additionally, drivers face a 90 day period without driving privileges.

Drivers can consult with their legal counsel to decide if they would prefer to take 1 of 2 routes with regard to their driver’s license. Option 1: 15 days of no driving privileges followed by a limited license for the remaining 90-day period, Option 2: full driving privileges for a 90-day period with the use of an ignition interlock. The 90-day driving prohibition can be reduced to 30 days if a driver pleads guilty to their DWI charge.

If your BAC is under 0.16, but you have a child in the car, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor and may face 1 full year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine with the same risk of a 90-day suspension in your driving privileges.

Alcohol-Concentration 0.16 or Over

First-time offenders with an alcohol concentration level of 0.16 or over are charged with a gross misdemeanor and may face 1 full year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine — whether you have a child in the car or not.

Additional sanctions include:

  • A 1-year loss of driving privileges OR year of an ignition interlock
  • Impounded plates
  • Vehicle forfeited (only in the instance of a child in the car with a BAC over 0.16)

What if I Am Charged With Another DWI?

If you’ve already been charged with one driving while impaired count and are arrested for another, you can face even more severe consequences such as incarceration, fines, driver's license suspension, community service, and extended use of an interlock device.

St. Paul DWI Attorney

If you've been charged with DWI in Minnesota, you need the skilled and aggressive defense our St. Paul attorneys at Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins, PLLC can provide. We explore every legal option and exhaust our resources to work toward a favorable outcome on your behalf. Contact us today to learn more: (651) 413-9004

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