Concern Grows That Minnesota DWI Laws Are Too Lenient to Deter Repeat Offenders

A recent article in the StarTribune indicates that at least 100 active drivers in Minnesota have 10 DWI convictions on their record.  Another 1,500 drivers have 6 DWI convictions. It is also estimated that 1 in 7 out of 4 million licensed Minnesota drivers has a DWI conviction. Under Minnesota law, repeat offenders can, depending on individual circumstances, return to driving as long as they meet the conditions of their sentences. Thus, law enforcement professionals believe habitual drunken drivers are not being deterred adequately.

According to the StarTribune article, the organization Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) is urging Minnesota lawmakers to require all convicted DWI offenders to have an “ignition interlock device” placed in their vehicles, not just repeat offenders.  Such devices prevent a vehicle from being operated by a driver who has a certain blood alcohol level.  Currently, Minnesota makes having an ignition interlocking device optional for first time offenders who register a blood alcohol level of 0.16 or above and for all second-time offenders.  The devices are mandatory, however, for a third-time offender within ten years, or for anyone with four or more offenses over any period of time.

Minnesota also has nine DWI courts which attempt to prevent repeat offenses by providing treatment options for alcoholism and other support for convicted drivers.  The courts work with persons on their third or fourth offense.  A report issued last year showed that these DWI courts were having an impact on reducing recidivism, or re-arrests of the participants, up to 69%.

Even with the success of DWI courts and the use of ignition interlocking devices in some instances, the numbers show that work remains to deter repeat DWI offenses.  Our goal is, not only to resolve your legal troubles, but to place you in a position where you can move on in a positive direction for your life.  If you need a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, please contact us.