Minnesota’s DWI laws lay out various penalties for an arrest and conviction on the grounds of alcohol or drug-impaired motor vehicle operation.
These penalties are both criminal and administrative. In fact, when it comes to the administrative penalties, you may be subject to some of them after you become a DWI suspect; a conviction in criminal court or a guilty plea isn’t necessary.
What penalties will you receive?
The scope of the penalties depends on many factors. These include your prior arrest record for DWI. They also involve the particulars of the DWI incident for which you’re facing charges.
For example, a DWI incident that results in death or serious injury for another person on the road is quite different from one that leads to no harm. Over a single DWI incident, you could be facing an array of charges, each defined separately under the law. For example, if you’re arrested on suspicion of DWI, and you have an open container of alcohol in your vehicle, you could face separate charges in violation of Minnesota’s Open Bottle Law (in addition to your DWI charge).
A specific DWI charge can also be aggravated for a few reasons. One is your record of DWI incidents in the past 10 years. Another factor is that your blood alcohol content was at least .20 (the legal threshold for drivers 21 and over is .08, while those under 21 can’t have any alcohol in their system). Lastly, if you were transporting a child under the age of 16 (who is also over 3 years younger than you), you could be facing aggravated charges.
A recent example of a situation where aggravated charges could come into play is for a man who was arrested in a DWI incident resulting in serious injuries for another driver. At the time, his blood alcohol content was allegedly .237, and he had a history of DWI incidents.
The penalties your face, even for a first-time offense, could be quite serious. It’s crucial to contact an experienced Minneapolis DWI attorney ASAP for strong legal representation. Your attorney will help you determine if the charges or penalties leveled against you are warranted.