If you or someone you know has been charged with a DWI or DUI crime in Minnesota, it is important that you obtain the services of a qualified, dedicated DWI lawyer like Eric J. Olson. Mr. Olson will defend your rights and fight to obtain the best possible results.
Mr. Olson has over ten years of experience defending and educating clients in the following areas of DWI law:
- DWI criminal consequences
- Elements of DWI
- Degrees of DWI
- Test refusal
- DWI civil consequences
- Loss of driver's license
- Vehicle forfeiture
In the State of Minnesota, the legal limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08. If you are arrested for drunk driving and your BAC tests at .08 or higher, you will be charged with a DWI offense and subjected to Minnesota DWI laws and related consequences.
These laws reflect recent changes adopted on July 1, 2011.
DWI offenses in Minnesota:
- DWI – Driving While Intoxicated
- DUI – Driving Under the Influence
- CVO – Criminal Vehicular Operation
- BWI – Boating While Intoxicated
- SWI – Snowmobiling While Intoxicated
- Underage Drinking and Driving
DWI Elements for Conviction
In order to be convicted of a DWI in Minnesota, the state must prove the following elements:
- Defendant drove, operated, or physically controlled a motor vehicle on the roadways or boundary waters of the State of Minnesota,
- Was under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance,
- Was driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more as tested within two hours of operating a motor vehicle.
Fourth Degree DWI
Classified as a misdemeanor, this lower level DWI charge carries up to 90 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Third Degree DWI
A Third Degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor and can be punished by up to a year in jail and / or a $3,000.00 fine. A person is guilty of a third degree DWI if they have a prior DWI/DUI within the previous ten years, or their blood alcohol level was over .20.
Second Degree DWI
Also classified as a gross misdemeanor with similar fines and jail time, this degree is different because it takes place when someone has two other DWI violations in the past 10 years. It can also be a Second Degree if the person has a prior conviction and has a BAC over .20 at the time of the new offense.
First Degree DWI
Classified as a felony, a person must have four DWI violations within a 10-year period. If convicted, the offender may face up to 7 years in jail and a $14,000 fine.
Test refusal. Another criminal offense.
Refusing to take a chemical test to determine your blood-alcohol level is also a criminal offense. Use our calculator to determine your approximate Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). If a police officer has probable cause to believe that you have been driving a motor vehicle and are under the influence of alcohol, he or she has the right to ask you to take a blood, urine or breath test. If you refuse to take a test, you can be charged with a test refusal. A test refusal is a gross misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and a $3,000.00 fine. If convicted, it can result in a longer license revocation had you taken the test.
Harsh penalties for DWI convictions.
If convicted of a DWI, you may face very serious consequences such as jail time, hefty fines, loss of driving privileges and other sanctions. Repeat offenders may face more severe penalties, which is why having a trusted, aggressive DWI defense attorney on your side is invaluable.
Being convicted of a DWI – even for the first time – is a big deal. Consider the costs associated with a DWI conviction:
- Loss of the right to vote (if the conviction is a felony)
- Loss of right to own a gun (if the conviction is a felony)
- Loss of your home or rental property
- Loss of the right to drive a company vehicle
- Harmful effects on your credit rating
- Court fees and fines
- Loss of employment or lost work hours
DWI civil consequences include:
- Driver's license record
- Driver's license revocation or cancellation
- Increased health insurance and car insurance
- Vehicle being impounded and towed
- Vehicle forfeiture
Commonly litigated issues and defense strategies for DWI charges in Minnesota:
- Did the arresting officer have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle?
- Did the officer have probable cause to arrest you for DWI?
- Was the officer trained how to administer the breathalyzer or blood alcohol device?
- Did the officer follow all necessary protocols during your stop and arrest including reading your Miranda rights?
- Did you fail a field sobriety test due to a lack of sleep, allergies, stress, contact lenses, food allergies or physical disabilities?
Charged with driving while impaired? Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson.
Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer Eric J. Olson is committed to providing aggressive and personal representation. To learn more about Minnesota DWI laws, or for a free consultation, call Mr. Olson today at 952.835.1088.