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Any conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) in Minnesota has the potential to carry significant consequences. From jail time to fines, the impact of a conviction could have a far-reaching effect on your life. That said, the law typically treats first-time offenders with a softer touch compared to repeat offenders.  

The consequences of a second DWI conviction in Minnesota will depend on a number of factors. Unlike other states that have firm sentencing ranges based on the number of prior convictions, the potential sentences differ substantially. 

If you are facing a second DWI arrest in Minnesota, the attorneys of Gerald Miller can assist you in your defense. Our team of DWI lawyers in Minnesota is experienced in obtaining acquittals under the toughest circumstances. Call right away to schedule your initial consultation.

BAC Under .16

Most DWI arrests in the State of Minnesota involve drivers with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) below .16. Under the current law, this is double the legal limit of .08. Your BAC is a measure of the amount of alcohol in your bloodstream. Typically, the higher your BAC, the more likely you are to be impaired. BAC test results play a central role in most DWI cases as a result of .08 or more at or around the time you were driving is enough for a prosecutor to obtain a conviction in many cases. 

For second-time DWI offenders with BAC below .16, a conviction can result in up to 90 days in jail. Additionally, the court can enter a fine of no more than $1,000. The judge can order any combination of these two penalties within the allowed maximums. You can also expect a revocation of your driving privileges for one year. 

BAC of .16 or More

The penalties for a DWI conviction go up in cases where a driver has a BAC of .16 or more. With an elevated BAC level, a conviction will result in up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $3,000. 

There are mandatory minimum sentences in this situation. The court must order a minimum jail term of at least 30 days, with at least 48 hours of that sentence served consecutively. There is also a mandatory minimum fine of $900. 

That said, the court may waive the fine due to financial hardship. The court may also order some of that jail time to be served in home confinement or even convert it into public service hours. 

Additionally, you will also receive a revocation of your driving privileges for two years. While obtaining limited driving privileges during that 2-year window is possible, it comes with the costly requirement of an ignition interlock device. 

Collateral Consequences

There are consequences that come with a DWI conviction outside of those written into state law. These are known as collateral consequences. The collateral consequences of a DWI conviction exist entirely outside of the justice system. Some collateral consequences include:

  • Loss of employment. If you ultimately serve jail time for your DWI conviction, there is no guarantee that your employer will allow you to miss time away from work. A conviction for DWI on your criminal record could also make it difficult to find employment in the future. 
  • Difficulty obtaining adequate housing. Like employers, a prospective landlord is also likely to make use of a criminal background check during the application process. They have the right to reject an application based on a DWI conviction. 
  • Loss of professional license. Many professions require licensing. Each of these licensed professions has a governing body that oversees the licensing process. These bodies typically have provisions that allow for the revocation of a professional license following certain criminal convictions. A second DWI conviction could qualify in some cases. 
  • Custody proceedings. If you are in the midst of custody proceedings, a DWI conviction could have a negative impact. This is especially true if your children were in the car at the time of the arrest. 

Speak with a Minnesota DWI Defense Attorney Right Away

An experienced Minnesota DWI defense lawyer can assist you in every aspect of your defense. The attorneys at Gerald Miller are ready to evaluate your case and advise you on how best to proceed. To get started, call us at (612) 440-4610 right away and schedule a free consultation.

Gerald Miller

Gerald Miller is a top-notch and experienced DWI/DUI lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. in Minneapolis, MN. He has more than 35 years of experience in Criminal Defense practice. He has also been a mentor to numerous DUI/DWI defense attorneys.


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