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What are some possible consequences of DUIs in Minnesota?

If you are facing DUI charges, then you may already be working with your attorney on a defense. It's also important that you understand the potential consequences of a conviction, so you can discuss which outcome, if it has to be a conviction, would be preferable.

For a first offense for drinking and driving, you'll be facing a misdemeanor. You face a possible 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. If a child was in your vehicle, then you could face up to a year in jail and up to $3,000 in fines along with a gross misdemeanor.

Refusing a breath test can get you in trouble in Minnesota. Just failing to take the test when requested can result in a $3,000 fine and a year in jail. However, you can work with your attorney to fight against any of these penalties to see if you can have them reduced or changed.

What's important to understand is that you face not only criminal penalties, but also administrative sanctions. These sanctions can result in the loss of your driver's license, which could make it hard for you to get to work or care for your family properly. For example, if you refuse a breath test, you could lose your license for a year. However, you may be able to choose between using an ignition interlock device for the year instead or not driving for 15 days and then driving on a limited license for the remainder of the year, depending on your situation.

Every case is different, and the more convictions you have on your record, the more serious the charges will be. It's wise to discuss all your possible options and to try to have the charges dropped if possible.

Source: Minnesota State Government, "DWI Consequences," accessed Oct. 13, 2015

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