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The Truth About Driving While Intoxicated

You had a great time at the party. But, you have work in the morning and need to get home. You can touch your nose and walk in a straight line, so you should be OK right? You really don’t want to spend more on a cab. So, you might as well drive home. One problem, you start swerving and you see those dreaded police lights in the rear-view mirror. You don’t pass the breathalyzer and now you are being booked for a DWI. What happens now?

How can I be arrested for a DWI?

You may be thinking if you’ve had too much to drink maybe take the motorcycle or moped instead. However, if you can ride it, you can be issued a DWI. This includes cars, motorcycles, boats, farm equipment, horses, and airplanes. If your blood alcohol level is .08 or higher you can be arrested for driving or riding anything while intoxicated.

How your life is impacted:

A conviction for driving while intoxicated is much more severe than simply spending a night in jail. There is more at stake than initially meets the eye.

  • Hiring a lawyer – if you are arrested for DWI you will want to contact a lawyer. You want someone in your court to help work through all your options.
  • Other legal fees – you will be charged all fees on top of paying for your lawyer.
  • Your job could be a risk – many employers have strict policies regarding hiring and retaining employees with criminal records. Depending on the severity of your DWI your job could be a stake.
  • License suspension – a conviction allows a judge to suspend your license for a long time sometimes years.
  • Jail time – depending on the circumstances you may end up in jail for driving while impaired.

Consequences:

In the state of MN, the consequences are clearly laid out for offenders.

First offense misdemeanor:

If your blood alcohol level is between .08 and .16 you would receive a $1,000 fine or thirty days in jail. If you drive under the influence with a child in the car the fine is increased to $3,000. For ninety days you must drive with an ignition interlock device attached to your car. This device requires you to pass a breathalyzer test before the car will start. Your lawyer may advise you to plead guilty to get your full driving privileges back sooner.

If your blood alcohol level is over.16 the consequences are much steeper. If you have a child in the car while driving your plates will be impounded. A judge can suspend your license or make you use an ignition interlock for one year. You will receive one year of jail time or you pay a $3,000 fine. If you don’t have a child in the car the punishment is slightly less severe. You still must pay a $3,000 fine or spend a year in jail, but the ignition interlock is on for ninety days instead of a year.

Second offense misdemeanor:

Second offense consequences are like the first except they are more severe. It’s an automatic $3,000 fine or a year in jail. If your blood alcohol level is .16 or less, you lose your full driving privileges for one year. If it’s .16 or higher your driving privileges are revoked for two years. You retain the right to refuse the test. However, if you do, you will lose your driving privileges for one year.

Third offense misdemeanor:

This is when a judge can cancel your license and now the effects are permanent. You are considered a threat to public safety, so they can also take your car. The fine is the same though. One year in jail or pay a $3,000 fine.

Fourth offense felony:

At this point, things are looking bad for you. The offense is increased to a felony and the fine is increased to $14,000 or three years in jail. Like the third offense, a judge can cancel your license and take your car. If a judge is gracious to you, he or she may allow you to use the ignition interlock for four to six years instead.

It is never worth it to drink and drive. You could kill yourself or someone else. If you are caught you risk the financial burden of hefty fines and legal fees. The mark on your record does not go away and losing your driving privileges is no easy feat. If you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated give Rogosheske, Rogosheske & Atkins a call today. You want an experienced lawyer in your court to walk you through this ordeal and help get you a favorable outcome. Contact us today.


Disclaimer: The information contained on this page does not constitute an attorney client relationship. Be sure to contact our law office to discuss your case with an attorney.