Minnesota DUI 101

Minnesota DUI laws are dependent on how much alcohol was in your system at the time of your arrest. If you get caught drinking and driving while in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, beware of what consequences you could be facing.

What Constitutes a Minnesota DUI

If you have a blood alcohol content level, or BAC, of .08 percent while behind the wheel in Minnesota, that is considered a DUI. If you are under the legal drinking age of 21, you had better not drink at all and get behind the wheel. That is because Minnesota is a no tolerance state, meaning you can’t have any trace of alcohol in your system while you are driving.

Penalties for DUI in Minnesota

Depending on how high your BAC is in Minnesota, the punishment you face could vary.

A first DUI conviction in Minnesota is considered a misdemeanor. It could land you in jail for up to 90 days and carry a fine of $1,000. You could also have your license suspended for up to 90 days. That jumps up to 180 days of suspension if you had a BAC of .20 percent or if there was a passenger under the age of 16 in your car. If your DUI was not under aggravating circumstances, you may be eligible for a limited license after 15 days, although this could require you to accept the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If your license is reinstated, you could be facing a $250 license reinstatement fee, $430 surcharge and $24 driver license application fee.

A second DUI conviction in Minnesota is considered a gross misdemeanor. It could include up to a year of jail time and a fee of $3,000. You could also be looking at a license suspension of 180 days, but that doubles to 360 days if your BAC was higher than .20 percent or you had a passenger under the age of 16 in your vehicle at the time of arrest. After 90 days, you may be eligible for a limited license, but the state may require you to install an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. You could also be looking at a $250 license reinstatement fee, $430 reinstatement surcharge and $24 license application fee. The state could also impound your license plate for one year on all vehicles.

In Minnesota, a third DUI conviction within ten years of the previous conviction is considered a gross misdemeanor. With that comes up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine. Your license could be suspended indefinitely, pending your enrollment in an alcohol treatment or rehabilitation program. After that, if the state reinstates your license, you vehicle may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on it.

A fourth DUI in Minnesota is considered a felony offense. It could land you in jail for up to seven years, and you may be forced to pay $14,000 in fines.

Minnesota drinking-and-driving laws are made to be tough, so be wise, and don’t drink and drive. Instead, hand the keys over to someone else and spare yourself the pain of a Minnesota DUI.