Available 24/7/365 San Diego

What Happens on Second DWI in Minnesota?

Any conviction for driving while impaired (DWI) in Minnesota has the potential to carry significant consequences. Are you asking what happens on 2nd DWI in Minnesota? The consequences can be loss of driver’s license, fines, and jailtime. Past the legal consequences, 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.

Minnesota DWI Consequences at a High Level

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.

Getting Help from a Minneapolis DWI Defense Lawyer

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.

Minnesota DWI 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.

2nd DWI Offense with BAC Under .16

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.

Minneapolis DWI 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.

DWI Financial Hardship Waiver

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 of DWI in Minneapolis

There are consequences that come with a DWI conviction outside of those written into state law. If you’re asking what happens on 2nd DWI in Minnesota, 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.

Proving a Second DWI in Minneapolis and Minnesota

Before you can face the consequences of a second DWI, the state must first secure your conviction. To do so, the prosecutor must show that you drove, operated, or where in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired. Minnesota Statutes Section 169A.20 set out seven ways the state could prove you were impaired:

  • the person is under the influence of alcohol;
  • the person is under the influence of an intoxicating substance and the person knows or has reason to know that the substance has the capacity to cause impairment;
  • the person is under the influence of a combination of any two or more of the elements named in clauses (1) to (3);
  • the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is 0.08 or more;
  • the person is under the influence of a controlled substance;
  • the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the commercial motor vehicle is 0.04 or more; or
  • the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols.

Prior DWI Convictions

It is not enough for the prosecution to prove that you committed a DWI. They must also make the case that you have a prior conviction for DWI within the past 10 years. This conviction could have occurred in Minnesota or another state.

One of the ways the attorneys of Gerald Miller could assist with your case is by fighting against a conviction entirely. If our attorneys can secure a not guilty verdict, you will avoid any of the consequences that a conviction may bring.

Avoiding the Consequences of a Second DWI in MN

Are you wondering what happens on 2nd DWI in Minnesota? A conviction can alter your life dramatically. It is helpful to remember that you will only face these consequences upon a conviction. That means an aggressive defense strategy could help you avoid a conviction entirely. In fact, there are multiple outcomes in a second-offense DWI case that could be considered a favorable outcome. Some of those outcomes include:

Dismissal of DWI Charges

The best possible outcome once you have been arrested for your second DWI is for the prosecution to drop the charges against you. While that might sounds too good to be true, the reality is that the state routinely gives up on prosecuting these offenses. Si, if you’re asking what happens on second DWI in Minnesota, you can have hope for a positive outcome.

That said, a dismissal is not something that will simply happen on its own. Typically, the prosecution is only willing to drop the charges against you when they are convinced they cannot win. This only happens when your defense is strong. The attorneys of Gerald Miller understand what it takes to face down the prosecution and push them to dismiss a charge based on the lack of evidence.

Reduced DWI Charges in Minnesota

Not every favorable outcome in a DWI case will lead to a dismissal. If you’re interested in what happens on 2nd DWI in Minnesota, having your charges reduced could be the best-case scenario. A second offense carries higher penalties and is more likely to result in jail time. Reducing the charge to a first-degree DWI save you money and keep you out of jail.

As is the case with a dismissal, the prosecution will only reduce charges when they believe they cannot prove you have a prior conviction. This could occur when your previous conviction is outside the 10-year lookback period required by the state.

Acquittal of DWI in Minneapolis and Minnesota

You are under no obligation to accept a plea offer from the state. In many cases, rejecting these offers could be the best course of action. This will result in a trial on the merits for your DWI case. The good news is that these charges are often defensible. The right strategy could result in an acquittal at trial, allowing you to leave court free and clear of any criminal charges. The prospect of a trial might be overwhelming at first. It is however, often your best chance at securing a positive outcome in your criminal case if you’re wondering what happens on 2nd DWI in Minnesota.

Speak with a Minneapolis DWI Defense Attorney Right Away

Are you asking what happens on 2nd DWI in Minnesota? 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.


This article was originally written on October 2, 2020 and updated on June 11, 2021.

About the author

Kyle Dreger

Kyle Dreger is a skilled DUI/DWI and Criminal Defense lawyer at Gerald Miller P.A. Kyle has received his law degree from the University of St. Thomas School of Law. He is also a professionally trained basketball player.

DUI/DWI Articles

You May Also Be Interested In

How To Get a DWI Dismissed in Minnesota in 2024


Three Scenarios Where You Might Be Facing a Wrongful DWI Charge


Minnesota Impaired Driving Laws, Penalties and Fines


A Woodbury DWI Attorney Explains the Consequences when Children are Involved


Gerald Miller P.A. – 24/7 Defense – Minneapolis DUI Attorney


Minneapolis DWI Lawyer – Secure Your Best Defense



Get A Free Consultation

Acting quickly will minimize the impact. Don’t wait act now!

    Table of Contents