Minnesota State Laws and Requirements

In Minnesota, a DUI conviction needs to be taken seriously. If you’re convicted of a DUI, you could face penalties ranging from a fine all the way up to lengthy prison sentences and felony charges. In most cases, you’ll have to install an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) even after your first offense. Understanding the Minnesota DUI laws is critical, especially if you’ve been charged with or convicted of more than one DUI. The legal system can be complicated, and determining which laws apply to your situation can be difficult.

 

That being said, here are the most typical Minnesota DUI laws as they apply to common situations.

 

Is it Legal to Drive? BAC Levels and Legality in Minnesota

 

In the state of Minnesota, it’s always illegal to drive if your BAC level is 0.08% or higher. This law applies to every driver in every situation regardless of circumstance or mitigating factors. Depending on your age, however, other BAC levels and driving situations may also be illegal. Here are a few of the BAC limits you should be aware of.

 

  • Under 21 – If you’re under the age of 21, a BAC of 0.01% is illegal. If you’re pulled over and you test at this level or higher, it’s automatically considered to be illegal because you’re not old enough to drink, let alone drink and drive.
  • Under 18 – Any measurable sign of alcohol while driving a vehicle is illegal in the state of Minnesota. Laws vary, but most situations involving drinking and driving under the age of 18 are handled in the juvenile court system.
  • Commercial Vehicle – If you’re driving a vehicle that requires a commercial license and you’re given a sobriety test, any level above 0.04% is considered illegal due to the nature of commercial driving.
  • Repeat Offender – Anyone convicted of three or more DUIs in Minnesota will be charged with a DUI if they have any measurable alcohol in their body. Minnesota has a zero tolerance policy for alcohol for repeat offenders.

 

Circumstantial DUI Laws in Minnesota

 

Aside from age restrictions, you’ll also face various sets of penalties based on circumstantial elements of your case. Minnesota DUI laws assign unique penalty types to drivers depending on how many offenses you’ve had in the past for driving under the influence or drunk driving, what your BAC was at the time of arrest, and other factors.

 

First Offense

 

In the state of Minnesota, your first DUI offense can carry with it some steep penalties. Here’s what you can expect if you’ve been convicted of a DUI/DWI in Minnesota for the first time.

 

  1. Fines ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.
  2. Misdemeanor charge on your record.
  3. License Suspension that can last from 90 days to a year.
  4. Imprisonment that can last anywhere from 90 days to a year.
  5. IID Installation required in order to obtain restricted driving privileges during your suspension.
  6. Plate impoundment in some situations.
  7. Vehicle forfeiture in some situations.

 

Second Offense

 

After your second offense, you’ll be imposed to the same types of penalties listed above. However, second offenses are treated as repeat offenses in Minnesota, so there are stiffer penalties associated with them.

 

  1. Fine of $3,000.
  2. License Suspension of one to two years with no driving privileges or one to two years with an ignition interlock restricted license.
  3. Imprisonment of a year.
  4. Mandatory IID Installation in almost every case.
  5. Plate impoundment in some situations.
  6. Vehicle forfeiture in some situations.

 

Third Offense

 

If you receive your third DUI charge or conviction in Minnesota, DUI laws state that you could face any combination of the following penalties. Any alcohol that registers on a BAC test will be considered illegal if you’re facing your third conviction or beyond.

 

  1. Fine of $3,000.
  2. License cancelled as being a danger to public safety.
  3. Probation period of three years during which you cannot test positive for any use of alcohol or drugs. Only after you prove this will you be able to have any installed IID device removed, depending on your situation. Those three years are broken down into two periods.
    1. One year of a limited license with IID installation upon enrollment in treatment.
    2. Two years of a restricted license post-completion of the treatment program you were enrolled in during year one.
  4. License plate impoundment in most cases.
  5. Vehicle forfeiture in most cases.

 

If you face your fourth DUI conviction you’ll be facing up to seven years in prison, a $14,000 fine, a cancelled license, four to six years probation, impoundment, and vehicle forfeiture.

Restricted Driving Privileges in Minnesota

 

Most Minnesota DUI charges allow you to continue to drive on a restricted license provided that you agree to install an ignition interlock device on every vehicle you’ll be operating during the restricted period. The length of time during which you’ll have to drive with a restricted license depends on your situation, so consult your court order and attorney to make sure you have the best information for your specific case.

IID Installation in Minnesota

 

If you’ve been convicted of a DUI in Minnesota and you’re required to install an IID, that installation will likely come by way of court order. Once you have the court order it’s important to work with your attorney to ensure you follow all the necessary requirements. Most orders will ask you to install an ignition interlock device in Minnesota at an approved vendor within 14 days. It’s crucial to pay attention to the time limits given to you by the court.

 

Only an approved, registered IID installer in Minnesota can help you get back on track as only approved vendors can give accurate reports, complete proper installations, and provide proof that you’re following all court-ordered directives.

 

It’s important to remember that just because you have an IID doesn’t mean you can drive wherever you want. Some IID installations or restricted licenses come with the stipulation that you can only drive to certain places or during certain times of the day. It’s important to make sure you’re following the directions given to you to avoid further legal trouble.

 

While the information reflected here is current as of this writing, laws do change from time to time and unique circumstances may change the penalties and requirements that you’re subject to.