Minnesota DUI Laws

Minnesota’s laws classify a DWI as any driver with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, or having any trace of illicit drugs in their system.
Written by Michelle Ballestrasse
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Minnesota DWI laws state that any driver over the age of 21 cannot have a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher.
Each year, over 10,000 people in the US are killed on the road as a result of drunk driving crashes.
Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a dangerous crime and penalties vary by state. Even a first-time offense can cost drivers up to $10,000 in fines and legal fees—and it will most certainly impact your
Minnesota car insurance costs
, too.
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What is a DUI/DWI?

A DUI refers to driving under the influence while a DWI means driving while intoxicated or impaired.
Each state determines the difference between the two. Minnesota primarily uses DWI in reference to anyone driving with alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two in their system.
Drugs, under Minnesota law, specifically refers to Schedule I and II drugs, excluding marijuana. If taking these drugs impairs you in any way while driving, you may be charged with a DWI.
Key Takeaway Marijuana is excluded from this law, but it is still illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana in Minnesota.

DWI in Minnesota

In Minnesota, it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% or higher. For commercial vehicle drivers, that level is 0.04%.
If you’re found with a BAC above the legal limit, you will be charged with a per se DWI, which means that whether or not you’re actually impaired by the alcohol is moot.
Every state has an implied consent law stipulating that you consent to be tested if you’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you’re lawfully arrested for a DWI, you must submit to a urine, blood, or breath test. You do not have a right to consult with a lawyer before completing the test.

Penalties for DWI in Minnesota

Penalties for DWIs are separated into two categories: administrative and criminal. The severity of the penalties are determined by aggravating factors:
  • Previous DWI offenses within the last 10 years
  • The presence of one or more minor passengers under the age of 16
  • A BAC at or greater than 0.16%

Administrative penalties

These penalties are meant to be immediate punitive action against offenders, and may apply even before the offender is formally charged with a DWI.
  • Driver’s license cancelation or revocation
  • Vehicle forfeiture
  • License plate impoundment
Offenders must pay a driver’s license reinstatement fee, a DWI reinstatement fee and surcharges, and plate impoundment fees (if their license plates are impounded) before driving privileges will be restored.

Criminal penalties

Criminal penalties are divided into four categories, or degrees, depending on the severity of the violation. Fourth-degree is the least serious offense, while first-degree is the most serious.
Fourth-degree
Penalty
Description
Offense level
Misdemeanor
Jail
90 days
Fine
$1,000
Third-degree
Penalty
Description
Offense level
Gross misdemeanor
Jail
1 year
Fine
$3,000
Second-degree
Penalty
Description
Offense level
Gross misdemeanor
Jail
1 year
Fine
$3,000
First-degree
Penalty
Description
Offense level
Felony
Jail
7 years
Fine
$14,000
Key Takeaway Every state has minimum penalties for a DUI, which are often more severe if you had a high blood-alcohol concentration or if you’ve had previous offenses.
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Does a DUI impact car insurance in Minnesota?

Yes, insurance companies take DUIs very seriously and you’ll be classified as a
high-risk driver
.
With a DUI on your record, you can reasonably expect that insurance carriers will charge you significantly higher rates or they may refuse to insure you entirely. That’s where
Jerry
can help. Jerry quickly submits your info and presents you with quotes from up to 50 top providers, so that you don’t have to spend time reaching out to each company one by one.
Your insurance carrier will also be required to fill out an
SR-22
to prove you have the
minimum car insurance required in your state
.

Other effects of a DUI

Beyond the conviction penalties and higher insurance rates, DUIs can have some other lasting impacts on your life.
License revocation: After a DUI, you run the risk of having your license revoked if you’re charged with other serious offenses.
Ignition interlock device: All states have some type of ignition interlock program requiring drivers convicted of a DUI to install an interlock device in their vehicle to disable the engine if alcohol is detected on their breath.
Background checks: Your DUI will show up on a background check indefinitely, which can cause issues for future employment endeavors.

How to find cheap insurance after a DUI

Finding affordable insurance after a DUI conviction can be difficult on your own. No matter what your record looks like,
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can help. Once you choose a policy, Jerry will handle the phone calls, paperwork, and renewals for your top pick so that you don’t have to.
When your policy is up for renewal, Jerry's
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