Can I Still Drive to Work if I Get a DWI?
A Limited License May be a Solution – With the Right Attorney on Your Side
Clients who are arrested for DWI have a lot of questions. They often express fear of the unknown. Most are embarrassed and nearly all feel a sense of lost independence. Our client’s biggest concern is what happens to their driving privileges, both after their arrest and if they are convicted of DWI. And their worries are certainly valid; many people must be able to drive to work so they can keep their job. Thankfully, there are options – and there is hope – with the help of the best Minneapolis DWI law firm.
Limited licenses – commonly known as work permits – are issued by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to people who are first-time offenders whose blood alcohol concentration was lower than 0.16, or for first-time offenders who refuse to submit to a chemical test. A limited license can be granted to drive:
- To and from work (or for work) or to apply for a job;
- To and from chemical dependency treatment programs;
- To provide for the medical, educational, or nutritional needs of their family; and/or
- For attendance to a postsecondary educational institute.
The driver must be employed, a student, or a homemaker. Minnesota law requires a 15-day waiting period before an eligible suspended or revoked driver may apply for a limited license. Following an arrest for DWI, it is common for the driver to be sent home with a 7-day temporary license. So, this 15-day hard revocation starts after that 7 days expires.
Don’t want to lose your ability to drive? We understand. Minnesota DWI defense lawyer Gerald Miller and his team can help defend your cases and your rights. Our DWI attorneys can help you get a limited license both after your arrest and if you are convicted. We may be able to get your charges reduced, depending on the circumstances of your case.
The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller, PA handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide. We can help you put your Minnesota DWI arrest behind you – and protect your right to drive.
Call Minnesota DWI defense lawyer Gerald Miller today at 612-440-4610. Contact us anytime. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope, and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind.
DWI Civil Penalties
In addition to the criminal consequences of a DWI arrest and conviction, the biggest civil penalty is license revocation. The length of time depends on the severity of the case, including:
1st offense within 10 years
- If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is less than 0.16, then your driving privileges may be revoked for 90 days. You may be able to choose between (1) 15 days of no driving privileges, and 75 days of driving on a limited license; or (2) 90 days of driving privileges with the installation of an ignition interlock. The 90-day withdrawal may be reduced to 30 days upon a DWI conviction. This reduction to 30 days only drops if this first offense in 10 years is also a first offense ever.
- If your BAC is less than 0.16 and you have a child in your car, your driving privileges can be revoked for 90 days. Again, you may be able to choose between (1) 15 days of no driving privileges, and 75 days of driving on a limited license; or (2) full driving privileges for the 90 day period with the use of the ignition interlock. But having a child in the car adds the special registration plates to your list of consequences. You will have to have those plates for a 1 year period. These plates are commonly referred to as the “whiskey plates.”
- If your BAC is 0.16 or over, then your license may be revoked for one year, or you may only drive on an ignition interlock restricted license. The limited license option is not available to you here. Again, special registration plates will be in place for 1 year as well.
- If you refuse the chemical test, your license may be withdrawn for one year. However, you may have a choice of (1) 15 days of no driving privileges and a limited license for the remaining 350 days; or (2) full driving privileges for the year with the use of an ignition interlock. It is important to note, that the plea in the criminal case can and does affect the license revocation time in refusal cases. No special registration plates are an issue with the first offense refusal.
2nd offense within 10 years
- If your BAC is under 0.16, then your license may be withdrawn for a period of one year, or you may drive with an ignition interlock restricted license.
- If your BAC is 0.16 or higher, you may lose driving privileges for two years, or drive the two years with an ignition interlock restricted license.
- If there is a child in the car, the revocation period is dependent upon the BAC level as noted above under the first-offense sanctions.
- If you refuse to take a chemical test at the police station, your license may be revoked for one year, or you may have one year of an ignition interlock restricted license.
- For all of these cases, you will have the special registration plates for at least 1 year as well.
3rd offense Within 10 Years
- Your license may be canceled as “inimical to public safety.”
- You may be able to have an ignition interlock device installed in order to drive but you must have three years of no detected use of alcohol and/or drugs before the device is removed. After enrolling in treatment, you may be able to drive with a one-year limited license with an ignition interlock restriction, and upon completion of treatment, you may be able to drive for two to three years with an ignition interlock restricted license.
4th offense Within 10 Years
- Your license is canceled as “inimical to public safety.”
- You must have four to six years of no detected use of alcohol and/or drugs. After you enroll in treatment, you may obtain a one-year limited license with an ignition interlock restriction. You may be able to drive on an ignition interlock restricted license for another three to five years upon completion of treatment.
A Limited License Can Help
To apply for a limited license, Minnesota drivers must surrender any existing license certificates and apply for a new license by passing a written test based on Chapters 7 and 8 of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual and paying a $680 reinstatement fee plus the $26.75 new license fee; and Meeting with a driver evaluator for approval of the limited license.
Work-Permit / Limited License Violation Consequences
A person who violates a condition of a work-permit / limited license or fails to have the license in their immediate possession at all times while operating a motor vehicle is guilty of a crime. Additionally, a person found guilty of violating a condition or limitation may not operate a motor vehicle for the remainder of the revocation period, or 30 days, whichever is longer.
Should I Contact a DWI Attorney to Help Me Get a Limited License?
Work permit/limited license laws are very complex and violations can result in severe consequences. Having an experienced attorney is vital if you or someone you know has been charged with a violation. Gerald Miller PA has 35 years of experience and has handled thousands of DWI cases. Contact Gerald Miller PA today at 612-440-4611 for a free consultation. You also can contact us here.
For more information see the Work Permit / Limited License Statute 171.30.
For a review of criminal penalties and driver’s license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
If you’re granted a limited license, life can seem less chaotic. It’s challenging enough to fight a DWI; losing your right to drive can cause all sorts of professional and personal problems. You will have to rely on friends, family, or public transportation. Driving allows us a sense of freedom and independence. One mistake shouldn’t take that away, especially if driving is a crucial part of your life and your ability to live and make money.
If you choose to fight, don’t go it alone. We can help. Our firm has relationships with judges, prosecutors, and other decision-makers – and we don’t stop pushing until we get a positive outcome.
About Gerald Miller, P.A.
Were you or someone you love arrested for DWI? The legal process is overwhelming for most defendants. There are a lot of unknowns and legal jargon to weave through. We can help, whether it’s your first DWI or if you’ve been convicted in the past.
If you are facing a conviction, the experienced Minnesota DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller, P.A. will look at your case and determine the best course of action. We will guide you through the process, working toward a positive outcome no matter the circumstances of the arrest. Our firm has a high success rate, and we’ve fought cases all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Your case is not open-and-shut. You should fight. We look at every aspect of the case, from the time of the arrest and the officer’s actions to the accuracy of your Breathalyzer test, or sometimes blood or urine test.
What Makes Gerald Miller’s DWI Law Different From Other Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyers?
The Minneapolis DWI lawyers at Gerald Miller handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide, but we have focused on DWI cases for nearly 40 years. A DWI conviction affects your driving ability, your finances, your quality of life, and your professional reputation. Don’t let one mistake affect your future.
We have earned dozens of positive Google, Yelp, and Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. We are widely recognized throughout the Twin Cities for our professionalism, compassion, success rate, knowledge, and dedication both in and out of the courtroom. The Minneapolis DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller DWI Law Firm are respected by our peers, colleagues, judges, and prosecutors. We have earned national awards and accolades from the American Bar Association, The National Trial Lawyers, the American Institute of DWI/DUI Attorneys, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, and the National Academy for DUI Defense, and more.
Gerald Miller, P.A. also has earned the elite “SuperLawyer” distinction by Thomson Reuters.
Let’s Get Started
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start protecting your rights. Even if a case cannot be dismissed, your charges may be reduced. First-time offenders have a stronger chance to receive reduced charges than repeat offenders. The level of impairment will be a critical part of a case dealing with marijuana use and could be a big part of the negotiation with the prosecutor. It helps if you were cooperative at the time of your arrest and if you followed the instructions of the court prior to your hearing, including completing a chemical health assessment and/or DWI education classes.
Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation at 612-440-4610. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope, and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind. We can also be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.