Practice Areas

DWI

In Minnesota a person is considering to be driving while impaired when they drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle, except for motorboats in operation and off-road recreational vehicles, within this state or on any boundary water of this state when:

(1) the person is under the influence of alcohol;
(2) the person is under the influence of a controlled substance;
(3) the person is knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the person so as to substantially impair the person's ability to drive or operate the motor vehicle;
(4) the person is under the influence of a combination of any two or more of the elements named in clauses (1) to (3);
(5) the person's alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is 0.08 or more;
(6) the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the person's alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the commercial motor vehicle is 0.04 or more; or
(7) the person's body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols.

Fourth Degree DWI  is when a person who violates section 169A.20 (above), subdivision 1, 1a, 1b, or 1c (driving while impaired crime), is guilty of fourth-degree driving while impaired. Fourth Degree DWI is punishable up to 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine.

Third Degree DWI is when a person who violates section 169A.20, subdivision 1, 1a, 1b, or 1c (driving while impaired crime), is guilty of third-degree driving while impaired if one aggravating factor was present when the violation was committed.
Or if a person who violates section 169A.20, subdivision 2 (refusal to submit to chemical test crime), is guilty of third-degree driving while impaired. Third Degree DWI is a punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $3000 fine.

Aggravating Factors:
(1) a qualified prior impaired driving incident within the ten years immediately preceding the current offense;
(2) having an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more as measured at the time, or within two hours of the time, of the offense; or
(3) having a child under the age of 16 in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender.

There are mandatory penalties if the current charge is the second qualified prior driving incident in the last ten years.

1) a minimum of 30 days of incarceration, at least 48 hours of which must be served in a local correctional facility; or (2) eight hours of community work service for each day less than 30 days that the person is ordered to serve in a local correctional facility.

Second Degree DWI is when a person who violates section 169A.20, subdivision 1, 1a, 1b, or 1c (driving while impaired crime), is guilty of second-degree driving while impaired if two or more aggravating factors were present when the violation was committed.  Of if A person who violates section 169A.20, subdivision 2 (refusal to submit to chemical test crime), is guilty of second-degree driving while impaired if one aggravating factor was present when the violation was committed.  Second Degree DWI is punishable up to 365 days in jail and a $3000 fine.

There are mandatory penalties if the current charge is the third qualified prior driving incident in the last ten years.

First Degree DWI is when a person who violates section 169A.20 (driving while impaired) is guilty of first-degree driving while impaired if the person:

(1) commits the violation within ten years of the first of three or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents;
(2) has previously been convicted of a felony under this section; or
(3) has previously been convicted of a felony under:
(i) Minnesota Statutes 2012, section 609.21 (criminal vehicular homicide and injury, substance-related offenses), subdivision 1, clauses (2) to (6);
(ii) Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 609.21 (criminal vehicular homicide and injury, substance-related offenses), subdivision 1, clauses (2) to (6); subdivision 2, clauses (2) to (6); subdivision 2a, clauses (2) to (6); subdivision 3, clauses (2) to (6); or subdivision 4, clauses (2) to (6); or
(iii) section 609.2112, subdivision 1, clauses (2) to (6); 609.2113, subdivision 1, clauses (2) to (6), subdivision 2, clauses (2) to (6), or subdivision 3, clauses (2) to (6); or 609.2114, subdivision 1, clauses (2) to (6), or subdivision 2, clauses (2) to (6).

First Degree DWI is a Felony offense and punishable up to 7 years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

There are mandatory penalties if the current charge is the fourth prior qualified driving incident in the last ten years.

Unless the court commits the person to the custody of the commissioner of corrections as provided in section 169A.276 (mandatory penalties; felony violations), the court shall sentence a person who is convicted of a violation of section 169A.20 (driving while impaired) within ten years of the first of three qualified prior impaired driving incidents to either:
(1) a minimum of 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility;
(2) a program of intensive supervision of the type described in section 169A.74 (pilot programs of intensive probation for repeat DWI offenders) that requires the person to consecutively serve at least six days in a local correctional facility; or
(3) a program of staggered sentencing involving a minimum of 180 days of incarceration, at least 30 days of which must be served consecutively in a local correctional facility.

See Minn. Stat. 169A.20 -169A.27

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