DUI DWI in Minnesota
Minnesota DUI DWI
Impaired driving, or driving while impaired ( DWI/DUI), is a serious offense in Minnesota. If you are arrested for a DWI or other alcohol-related driving offenses, you may face both criminal and administrative penalties.
The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), a division of the MN Department of Public Safety (DPS), handles the administrative penalties for DWIs and impaired driving offenses.
Your penalties will vary by the number of DWI offenses you’ve committed and the severity of the violation, but you’ll typically face fines. jail time. a driver’s license suspension. and driving restrictions.
On this page you’ll find an overview of the definitions of DWI offenses, criminal and administrative offenses, and the steps you may need to take to regain your driving privileges.
MN DWI Impaired Driving Definitions
In Minnesota, the legal blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) limit is 0.08%; however, you can be arrested and charged with a DWI for a BAC of:
- Less than 0.08%, depending on the circumstances of the violation.
- 0.04% if you are driving a commercial vehicle .
- Less than 0.08% if you are underage .
NOTE : You can also face criminal and Minnesota DPS administrative penalties for refusing to take a BAC/breathalyzer test when stopped on suspicion of a DWI or impaired driving.
DWI Impaired Driving Penalties in Minnesota
When you are arrested for a DWI/DUI or impaired driving, you will likely face both criminal penalties in court AND administrative penalties with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety (OTS). DWI apply to all vehicles including: cars, trucks, boats, motorcycles, snowmobiles, ATVs, riding lawn mowers and golf carts.
The penalties you face will be harsher if you have a higher BAC, if you have child in the car, or if anyone was hurt.
The criminal penalties you may face in court for a 1stoffense of a DWI will vary depending on your BAC. The legal limit for a DWI is 0.08%. However a motorist can be charged with a DWI under this amount depending on the circumstances.
- For a BAC of under 0.16%. you will be charged with a misdemeanor and possibly face:
- Up to 90 days in jail.
- A $1,000 fine.
- For a BAC of 0.16% or over, you will be charged with a gross misdemeanor and possibly face:
- Up to 1 year in jail.
- A $3,000 fine.
- If you refuse to take a BAC test, you may be charged with a gross misdemeanor and face:
- Up to 1 year in jail.
- A $3,000 fine.
Subsequent DWI/DUI and impaired driving offenses will result in longer potential jail time, higher fines, longer driver’s license suspensions, and harsher penalties. For a complete list of the criminal and administrative penalties you may face for subsequent DWIs, please visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) website. If you need to check the status of your driving record or want to see which offenses remain on your record, please visit our Driving Records in Minnesota page.
Underage Drinking and Driving
If you are younger than 21 years old, you may receive a DWI or drinking and driving offense if you are caught driving with a BAC of less than 0.08%. The criminal and administrative penalties you may face for your first offense include:
- Fines of $700 and/or 90 days in jail AND loss of driving privileges for a citation of underage drinking
- DWI offense with fines up to $3,000 and/or 1 year in jail and a suspension of your driver’s license.
DWI and underage drinking and driving offenses will remain on your driving record for at least 15 years. Depending on the severity of your offense, you blood-alcohol concentration, and the number of times you have committed an alcohol-related offense, your penalties may be harsher.
DPS Administrative Penalties
The Minnesota DPS administrative penalties you may face for a 1stoffense of a DWI/DUI will also vary depending on your BAC and the circumstances of the violation. These penalties can be imposed regardless of the outcome of any criminal or court findings.
- A driver’s license suspension of 90 days which will be:
- No driving privileges for 15 days with limited license for the remaining 90 days
- Full driving privileges for a period of 90 days with an ignition interlock device
For a BAC of over 0.16%.
- A driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year, which may be carried out as either:
- 1 year of driver’s license suspension.
- 1 year of restricted driving with an ignition interlock system. (See “Ignition Interlock in Minnesota ” below.)
If you refuse to take a BAC test, you may face a MN driver’s license suspension of up to 1 year or 1 year of restricted driving privileges with an ignition interlock system after not having any privileges for 15 days. (See “Ignition Interlock in Minnesota ” below.)
Ignition Interlock in Minnesota
An ignition interlock device connects to your vehicle’s ignition system and does not allow you to start your car if your BAC is over a certain limit. You may have the option to have an ignition interlock device installed to be able to drive during your Minnesota driver’s license suspension period. Ignition interlock devices involve an installation fee as well as a monitoring fee. You may be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle if you:
- Committed a DWI for the 1st time with a BAC of 0.16% or higher.
- Committed a DWI for the 2nd time.
- Committed 3 DWIs or more in 10 years.
Depending on the number of DWI/DUI offenses you’ve committed, you must keep the ignition interlock device in your car for 1 to 6 years. For more information about ignition interlock devices and your driving privileges, please contact your local Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) or visit the ignition interlock page on the DPS website.
Reinstating Your Minnesota Driver’s License
After you have completed both your court requirements and your Minnesota DPS administrative requirements resulting from your DUI charge, you’ll need to reinstate your driver’s license. While your requirements may vary depending on your specific circumstances and the severity of your DUI, to reinstate your MN driver’s license, you’ll generally need to.
- Pay a $680 reinstatement fee.
- Pass a DWI knowledge test .
- Complete a Minnesota driver’s license application and pay the appropriate fees.
- Complete a chemical health assessment program .
For more information about regaining your driving privileges, please visit our Suspended License in Minnesota page.