Getting arrested on drunk driving charges in Minnesota is not an everyday occurrence for the average driver; however, DUI and DWI charges are some of the most common criminal charges that individuals might face in the state. They also come with serious consequences if you are convicted of the allegations. For this reason, it is important that drivers familiarize themselves with DUI laws and potential punishments in order to avoid getting accused of such offenses.
In Minnesota, individuals who have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08 percent are not legally permitted to drive. In other words, if a police officer pulls you over and you perform a breathalyzer alcohol test that shows a BAC over 0.08 percent, you could be arrested, taken to jail and charged with DUI. That said, even drivers who score under 0.08 percent could be arrested and charged with DWI.
Each DWI offender will face different kinds of punishments consequences, depending on the facts and evidence surrounding his or her arrest. As for first time offenders, though, a conviction comes with the chance of jail time and the loss of one's license for at least 30 days, and up to one year. A DUI offense can also be considerably expensive and cost drivers as much as $20,000 in court costs, increased insurance premiums and fees for legal representation.
Recently, Minnesota has strengthened its DWI sanctions to include the use of ignition interlock devices. An ignition interlock device requires a driver to blow into a breathalyzer machine, which will deactivate his or her car's ignition system. It prevent drivers from driving if they have an alcohol concentration of 0.02 or higher. While this may seem like a nuisance to some drivers, ignition interlock devices are actually serving to help DWI drivers stay on the road, rather than stripping them of their driving privileges all together.
The best way to prevent getting arrested for DUI or DWI is simply to refrain from drinking and driving. However, if an arrest does occur, accused individuals will have the ability to defend themselves against the charges in court.
Source: dps.mn.gov, "Impaired driving laws," accessed July 15, 2015