If you are facing a Minnesota driving while intoxicated charge, you may have concerns about the potential penalties and how they might impact your life moving forward. As you might imagine, the penalties associated with drinking and driving in the state tend to increase in severity if you already have a prior conviction or multiple prior convictions. Thus, it is important that you understand the consequences associated with repeat offenses.

Just what constitutes a “repeat offense?” If you are facing a new drinking and driving charge in Minnesota, know that the courts will look back on the last 10 years to determine whether you are a repeat offender. If, however, you received your last DWI conviction 11, 12 or more years ago, you will typically face the same penalties given to first-time offenders.

Minnesota’s penalties for repeat DWI offenders are as follows.

Penalties for second-time offenders

If you receive a second DWI conviction within the same 10-year period, you can expect to have to serve at least 30 days behind bars. Additionally, at least 48 hours of that 30-day stay must be in a local jail. You can also anticipate having to perform community service, though how long you must spend doing so will likely depend on the amount of time you serve in a local correctional facility. You may, too, face additional penalties depending on the details surrounding your charge.

Penalties for third-time offenders

If convicted of DWI for a third time within the same 10-year period, you may have to serve at least 90 days in jail, 30 of which you must serve consecutively within a local facility. In some cases, you may instead have to take part in an intensive probation program that requires that you still serve at least six days behind the bars of a local correctional facility.

As you might assume, the penalties for repeat DWI offenders become increasingly steep when you face your fourth or fifth offense within the same 10-year period. In some cases following a DWI arrest, you may be able to plead to a lesser charge.