The consequences of a DWI conviction in Minnesota

Many Minnesota residents have either personally or likely know someone who has been arrested or convicted of a DWI. It can happen to almost anyone. Say, for example, you're at a friend's house for a barbeque. Within the span of three hours, you may have two to three beers as you eat dinner and hang out.

Upon driving home, you fail to come to a complete stop at a stop sign near your home. Suddenly, you see flashing lights in your rearview mirror. When asked where you're coming from, you reply a friend's barbeque. When questioned further as to whether or not you've been drinking, not wanting to lie, you admit to having a couple beers.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, throughout the state each year "more than 30,000 people are arrested for DWI." A drunk driving conviction can negatively impact an individual's life in numerous ways, many of which are not immediately apparent.

In Minnesota, a driver who registers a blood-alcohol-concentration level of 0.08 or higher is considered to be legally drunk. However, even individuals who register a BAC below 0.08 may face hefty fines and penalties. Drunk driving penalties include fines from $1,000 to $14,000, 90 days to seven or more years in jail or prison and the suspension or forfeiture of an individual’s driver’s license.

Additionally, personal relationships with a spouse, children, family members and friends are often strained or broken. Likewise, an individual may lose the respect of colleagues or their job altogether. This is especially likely in cases where an individual is sentenced to spend time in jail or has their driving privileges suspended.

Minnesota drivers who have been arrested and charged with a DWI would be wise to immediately secure a criminal defense attorney. Drunk driving cases are often much more complex than they appear at face value and a criminal defense attorney who handles DWI cases will work to ensure for the best possible outcome.

Source: State of Minnesota Department of Public Safety, "DWI Consequences: Impaired Driving Penalties and Sanctions," 2014

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