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DWI consequences in Minnesota depend on the specifics of the case

A drunk driving conviction can change a person's life. Without a driver's license, a Minneapolis resident may lose their job or miss out on future opportunities because the drunk driving conviction is on their record. However, aside from impacting their livelihood, the consequences from a driving while intoxicated conviction can also end up negatively impacting their family and their reputation. 

Right now in Minnesota, the police are out in high volumes looking for possibly impaired drivers. In fact, since Nov. 27 -- when the extra DWI enforcement campaign started in the state -- roughly 2,150 people have been arrested for DWI

When talking about DWI charges in Minnesota, the thing to remember is that not all cases are the same. Rather, the consequences are largely dependent on whether a driver has been convicted for DWI in the past and just how high their blood alcohol content was. 

For example, the legal driving limit in Minnesota is 0.08 percent. Those with blood alcohol contents that are at least two times the legal limit face having to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicles. This Breathalyzer-like device would also have to stay in their vehicle for at least one year. This means every time the driver wants to go somewhere, he or she would have to first breathe into the device to test their blood alcohol content. 

Clearly, this type of device could also end up leading to some judgment from other passengers. 

Additionally, if someone already has a drunk driving conviction on their record, an ignition interlock device will end up being mandatory upon conviction, again, for at least one year. Those with three or more prior DWI offenses are also required to install the device, where it will remain for three to six years. Failure to comply will result in never again regaining driving privileges. 

Overall, what all of this goes to show is that a DWI conviction -- even just a first-time offense -- carries with it significant consequences. This is why it is imperative for a driver to know their rights and know what legal options are available before saying anything incriminating.

Source: KSTP, "Minn. Drunk Drivers Make 'DWI Confessions," Cassie Hart, Dec. 26, 2013

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