If you are like most Minnesota residents, you have heard people talk about just how severe the penalties for a drunk driving conviction in Minnnesota can be. But, do you really know what the law says can happen and when you might be able to be charged with a driving while intoxicated offense? This is an important thing for any driver in the state to know.
According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a person with a blood alcohol content at or above 0.08 percent may be arrested for a DWI. If you are driving a commercial vehicle with a commercial driving license, the threshold for legal intoxication lowers to 0.04 percent. However, this does not mean that if you are tested and the results show a BAC of 0.07 percent you are safe from an arrest. If an officer can prove that a drug or alcohol was part of a driving mistaken on your part, you may still be charged with a DWI.
In Minnesota, a first DWI with a BAC of 0.15 percent or lower is a misdemeanor. A fourth or subsequent DWI is a felony. All other offenses are gross misdemeanors. In addition to fines and potential time in jail, you may be required to use an ignition interlock device in order to be allowed to drive. The length of time you might need to use an IID could vary depending upon the circumstances of your case.
If you would like to learn more about protecting yourself after a drunk driving arrest, please feel free to visit the drug- or alcohol-related traffic violation page of our Minnesota criminal defense website.