What Are the Degrees of DUI in Minnesota?

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Minnesota refers to a DUI as driving while impaired (DWI). It is against the law for a person to drive, operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance or a hazardous substance that has such an effect on the brain, nervous system or muscles that it impairs the person's ability to drive or operate a vehicle. A person is guilty of a DWI if his blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more.

First-degree Offense

  • A person is guilty of a first-degree offense when the person commits the offense within 10 years of the first of three or more previous DWI offenses, has been convicted of a DWI felony or has been convicted of the felony of vehicular homicide. A conviction of a first-degree DWI is a felony. The punishment includes a term of imprisonment for no more than seven years and a fine of no more than $14,000.

Second-degree Offense

  • A person is guilty of a second-degree offense if it's the third impaired driving offense in 10 years, a second violation with a chemical test refusal or the presence of one aggravating factor, or a first violation and the presence of two aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include a previous impaired driving offense within 10 years (a conviction or a loss of license), a blood alcohol concentration of .20 or more, or driving while under the influence with a person age 16 or younger. A chemical examination tests a person's blood, breath or urine for intoxication. A second-degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor. The punishment is incarceration for at least 30 days but no more than one year, and a fine of up to $3,000.

Third-degree Offense

  • A person is guilty of a third-degree driving offense if it's a second impaired offense within 10 years, a first offense and a test refusal, or the presence of one aggravating factor. A third-degree offense is a gross misdemeanor. A person is subject to a minimum punishment of 90 days in jail (not to exceed one year) and a fine of up to $3,000.

Fourth-degree Offense

  • A person is guilty of a fourth-degree offense if it's a first impaired driving offense within 10 years without a chemical test refusal or an aggravating factor. A fourth-degree offense is a misdemeanor. The punishment is a sentence of up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.

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