DWI and DUI Defense

Man Getting Arrested

DWI and DUI Defense

Minnesota-based DWI and DUI Defense Lawyer

Man Getting Arrested

Man Getting Arrested

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with DWI or DUI in Minnesota, the chances are you will have all kinds of questions going through your mind.

“What do I do now?”
“Do I have a defense?”
“Will I lose my job?”
“Will I lose my license?”
“Will I go to jail?”

Everyone deserves the right to the best defense available and this is why an experienced attorney serving the Minnesota and Minneapolis area is absolutely vital.

DWI and DUI are serious offenses, in addition to the danger you pose to yourself and others, you also expose yourself to severe penalties including; a heavy fine, court costs, insurance surcharges, motor vehicle surcharges, loss of license and even a jail term. Since these penalties are significant and create a negative record that could affect your ability to get a job, obtain insurance and generally get on with your life, you should consult an experienced attorney who is dedicated to the field of DWI and DUI defense.

At Gerald Miller we focus on DWI and DUI cases and ensure you receive the best legal representation from the moment you contact us. We will look at all aspects of your case in great detail. You need this level of legal counsel because driving under the influence cases can be the most difficult ones in which to obtain a successful outcome.

A DWI or DUI charge can happen to anybody and we believe everyone should be treated equally.

Call Gerald Miller “Super Lawyer” today at 612-341-9080. Our lines are open 24 hours and we are here waiting to help you NOW.
For more information on the areas we cover, use the links on the right side of the page.

Information Center

Fourth Degree Misdemeanor DWI/DUI

In Minnesota, a 4th degree DWI is a misdemeanor offense. An offender who complied with testing, has no qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the last 10 years, has no aggravating factors and tested less than .16 may be charged with a 4th degree DWI.

4th Degree DWI / DUI Consequences

A 4th degree DWI is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

For a first time, misdemeanor DWI or DUI, a revocation of 90 days is typical and one  may qualify for certain driving programs in order to continue driving. A first time offender may be eligible for a work permit 15 days after the revocation time period commences, or they may go onto the ignition interlock program in order to continue to drive in the State of Minnesota.

Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

The first time someone is charged with a crime it can be a very stressful and confusing time. Experience matters with a crime as complex as DWI.

For more information see the Minnesota 4th Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.27.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Third Degree Gross Misdemeanor DWI/DUI

In Minnesota, a 3rd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense. The presence of one of the following aggravating factors, in addition to a new offense, can lead to a 3rd degree DWI charge:

  1. An impaired driving incident, such as an alcohol-related license revocation or DWI conviction, within 10 years of the present incident.
  2. The presence of a child in the motor vehicle.
  3. Blood alcohol content of .16 or greater as tested within two hours of the incident.
    Consequences
3rd Degree DWI / DUI Consequences

A 3rd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3000.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

For a 3rd degree DWI, license revocation of one to two years is likely with eligibility for ignition interlock. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee. The offender will also face license plate impoundment issues.

A gross misdemeanor DWI is a serious offense with severe consequences. An attorney who is experienced with gross misdemeanor DWI’s is invaluable.

For more information see the Minnesota 3rd Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.26.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Second Degree Gross Misdemeanor DWI/DUI

In Minnesota, a 2nd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense. The presence of two or more of the following aggravating factors, in addition to the new offense, can lead to a 2nd degree DWI charge:

  1. An impaired driving incident, such as an alcohol-related license revocation or DWI conviction, within 10 years of the present incidence.
  2. The presence of a child in the motor vehicle.
  3. Blood alcohol content of .16 or greater as tested within two hours of the incident.
2nd Degree DWI / DUI Consequences

A 2nd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000. In addition to the criminal and driver’s license penalties, there will also likely be a forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident and impoundment of the license plates.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

For a 2nd degree DWI, a revocation of two to three years or more is likely with eligibility for ignition interlock once certain criteria are met. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

A gross misdemeanor DWI is a serious offense with severe consequences. An attorney who is experienced with felony DWI’s is invaluable.

For more information see the Minnesota 2nd Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.25.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

First Degree Felony DWI / DUI

In Minnesota, a 1st degree DWI charge is a felony level offense. A person can be charged with a 1st degree felony DWI if he/she has three or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years in addition to the new offense. Qualified prior impaired driving incidents include a prior DWI conviction or prior alcohol-related loss of license from Minnesota or another state with comparable laws.

1st Degree DWI / DUI Consequences

A 1st degree DWI offense can lead to imprisonment for up to 7 years and a fine of up to $14,000, or both. Felony convictions can also carry other consequences such as loss of voting privileges, loss of freedom to travel and loss of the right to own or possess a firearm. Further, once convicted of a felony DWI, a subsequent DWI conviction will also be a felony regardless of when the future offense is charged. A forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident and impoundment of the license plates is also extremely likely.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

A 1st degree DWI can cause one to lose their driving privilege for extreme extended periods of time depending on the severity of the offense or the exact number of qualified prior impaired driving incidents.
Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

A Felony DWI is a serious offense with severe consequences. An attorney who is experienced with felony DWI’s is invaluable.

For more information see the Minnesota 1st Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.24.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Misdemeanor DWI/DUI

In Minnesota, a 4th degree DWI is a misdemeanor offense. A first time offender who complied with all testing, has no qualified prior impaired incidents within the last ten years, has no aggravating factors and tested less than .20 may be charged with a 4th degree DWI.

Misdemeanor DWI / DUI Consequences

A  misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

Generally, for a first time offense with no aggravating factors, a revocation of 90 days is likely and may participate in ignition interlock. A first time offender may also be eligible for a work permit 15 days after the revocation time period commences.

The first time someone is charged with a crime it can be a very stressful and confusing time, especially a crime as complex as DWI, experience matters.

For more information see the Minnesota 4th Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.27.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver’s license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Gross Misdemeanor DWI / DUI

In Minnesota a 2nd or 3rd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense. The presence of one or more of the following aggravating factors in addition to the new offense can lead to a 2nd or 3rd degree DWI charge:

  1. A prior impaired driving incident, such as an alcohol-related license revocation or DWI conviction, within 10 years of the present incident.
  2. The presence of a child in the motor vehicle.
  3. Blood alcohol content of .16 or greater as tested within two hours of the incident.
Gross Misdemeanor DWI / DUI Consequences

A 2nd or 3rd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000. In addition to the criminal and driver’s license penalties, for a 2nd degree DWI specifically will likely be a forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident and impoundment of the license plates is also extremely likely.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

For a 2nd or 3rd degree DWI, revocation times from one to three years are likely with eligibility for ignition interlock once certain criteria are met. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

Being charged with a gross misdemeanor DWI is a serious charge with severe consequences. Having an attorney with experience is therefore invaluable.

For more information see the Minnesota 3rd Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.26.

For more information see the Minnesota 2nd Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.25.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Felony DWI / DUI

In Minnesota, a 1st degree DWI charge is a felony level offense. One is charged with a 1st degree felony DWI if he/she has three or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years in addition to the new offense. Qualified prior impaired driving incidents include a prior DWI conviction or prior alcohol-related loss of license from Minnesota or another state with comparable laws.

Felony DWI / DUI Consequences

A 1st degree DWI offense can lead to imprisonment of up to 7 years and a fine of up to $14,000, or both. Felony convictions can also carry other consequences such as loss of voting privileges, loss of freedom to travel and loss of the right to own or possess a firearm. Further, once convicted of a felony DWI, a subsequent DWI conviction will also be a felony regardless of when the future offense is charged. A forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident and impoundment of the license plates is also extremely likely.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

A 1st degree DWI can cause one to lose their driving privilege for extreme extended periods of time depending on the severity of the offense or the exact number of prior qualified drug or alcohol related incidents. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

A Felony DWI is a very serious offense with multiple consequences. An attorney who is experienced with felony DWI’s is invaluable.

For more information see the Minnesota 1st Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.24.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

First-Time DWI / DUI

In Minnesota, a first-time DWI is a misdemeanor offense. An offender who complied with testing, has no qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the last 10 years, has no aggravating factors and tested less than .20 may be charged with a 4th degree DWI.

First-Time DWI / DUI Consequences

A 4th degree DWI is a misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1000 fine.

Possible Driver’s License Penalties

Generally, for a first time offense, a revocation of 90 days to one year is likely and one typically may participate in ignition interlock if eligible. A first time offender with a test result of less than .16 may also be eligible for a work permit 15 days after the revocation time period commences. If the test results in a .16 or greater, ignition interlock will be required for a minimum of one year.

Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

The first time someone is charged with a crime it can be a very stressful and confusing time. Experience matters with a crime as complex as DWI.

For more information see the the Minnesota 4th Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.27.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Multiple DWI / DUI

Multiple DWI / DUI within a ten year period will typically result in 3rd, 2nd or 1st degree charges.

Multiple DWI / DUI Consequences

A 1st degree DWI offense can lead to imprisonment for up to 7 years and a fine of up to $14,000, or both. Felony convictions can also carry other consequences such as loss of voting privileges, loss of freedom to travel and loss of the right to own or possess a firearm. Further, once convicted of a felony DWI, a subsequent DWI conviction will also be a felony regardless of when it is charged. In a 1st or 2nd degree DWI, a forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident and impoundment of the license plates is also extremely likely.

A 2nd or 3rd degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor offense which is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $3,000.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

A 1st degree DWI can cause one to lose their driving privilege for extreme extended periods of time depending on the severity of the offense or the exact number of prior qualified alcohol related incidents. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

For a 2nd degree DWI, a revocation of two to three years or more is likely with eligibility for ignition interlock once certain criteria are met. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

For a 3rd degree DWI, a revocation of one year or more is likely with eligibility for ignition interlock. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee. A 3rd degree DWI offense can also lead to impoundment of the license plates.

A felony or gross misdemeanor DWI is a serious offense with severe consequences. An attorney who is experienced with multiple DWI offenses is invaluable.

For more information see the Minnesota 1st Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.24.

For more information see the Minnesota 2nd Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.25.

For more information see the Minnesota 3rd Degree Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.26.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Commercial CDL DWI / DUI

Minnesota drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) are subject to stricter DWI laws and face harsher penalties for any drug or alcohol related offense.

Commercial drivers operating a commercial vehicle at the time of their arrest are in violation of Minnesota DWI law with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.04%, instead of the non-commercial BAC level of 0.08%.

CDL DWI / DUI Consequences

A first-time commercial driver convicted of a DWI will lose their commercial license for one year. A second DWI offense will result in a lifetime loss of one’s commercial license.

Additionally, a commercial driver convicted of DWI will not be provided a temporary work permit.

Given the severe consequences of a DWI charge to a commercial driver it essential that you hire an experienced attorney to help you through these troubling times.

For more information see the Commercial Driver’s DWI Statute 169A.54.

Drug Chemical DWI / DUI

In Minnesota, it is illegal for a person to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of either alcohol or any controlled substance. Controlled substances are drugs regulated or controlled by the government and include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • LSD
  • Methamphetamine
  • Heroin
  • Peyote
  • Morphine
  • Opium
  • Prescription pills
  • Sleeping pills

Drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) are subject to a blood or urine test to detect the presence of controlled substances. A refusal to take a test is also a crime.

Drug Chemical DWI / DUI Consequences

Any amount of certain Schedule I or II controlled substance will result in a DWI. Actual impairment is not a requirement, meaning a positive test for a Schedule I or II controlled substance is all that is necessary to be convicted.

The criminal penalties for a DUID conviction are the same as DWI.

    • An offender with a misdemeanor 4th degree DWI charge faces a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine;
    • An offender with a gross misdemeanor 3rd degree DWI charge faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3,000 fine;
    • An offender with a gross misdemeanor 2nd degree DWI charge faces a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3000 fine;
    • An offender with a felony 1st degree DWI charge faces a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.
Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

In addition to criminal penalties, a DUID offense will lead to a driver’s license revocation.

A DUID is a serious offense which carries severe consequences. Hiring an experienced attorney is essential to obtaining a favorable result.

For more information see the Minnesota Drug Chemical Statute 169A.20.

DWI While Driving a Rental Vehicle

In Minnesota, a person convicted of a DWI while driving a rental vehicle is subject to the same sanctions, penalties and consequences as they would if they owned the vehicle.

However, an individual may be subject to additional contractual penalties with the rental company pursuant to their signed agreement. If the car is impounded it is typical that only the rental company will be allowed to retrieve the vehicle.

A DWI is a serious offense with severe consequences. An attorney who is experienced with DWI law is invaluable.

MN Driver Gets a DWI in Another State

Minnesota is one of the participating states who follow the Interstate Driver’s License Compact Agreement. The agreement requires that states share information regarding certain types of convictions, including DWI. Essentially, the agreement states that if a resident of one state gets a DWI conviction or driver’s license revocation in another state, then the driver’s home state will be advised.

Out of State DWI Consequences

In Minnesota, an out of state conviction is given the same effect as if the conviction had occurred in the home state. This means that the individual is subject to suspensions, revocations, and/or limitations of their driver’s license in Minnesota, as well as the state in which the offense occurred.

Out of state DWI law is extremely complicated and has severe consequences. Having an experienced attorney is therefore essential.

For more information see the MN Driver’s License Compact Statute 171.50.

Non-MN Driver Gets a DWI in MN

An individual who does not reside in Minnesota and who is charged with a DWI offense while in Minnesota will be subject to criminal and driver’s license sanctions in Minnesota. They also will likely face driver’s license sanctions in their home state when that state is made aware of the Minnesota driver’s license revocation and/or DWI conviction.

The primary concern for most out of state defendants is often getting back to their home state as soon as possible. If a person is not released on their own recognizance, the first step is to set a bail hearing and obtain release for the individual. Once this occurs the case proceeds as normal. It is also worth noting that a person may be able to resolve their case without having to be present at court.

The attorneys at Gerald Miller PA will take every step necessary to help you return to your home state as early as possible.

Non-Resident DWI Conviction

The consequences of a DWI conviction for a non-resident may be two fold. First, the individual will face criminal penalties and driver’s license sanctions in Minnesota. Second, the individual may also be subject to separate driver’s license and sanctions in their home state.

If you are an out of state person charged with a DWI in Minnesota you are likely confused and frightened. Minnesota DWI laws are very strict and having an experienced DWI attorney is essential.

Refusal to Submit to Testing

After an individual is stopped for suspicion of a DWI, an officer may request that the individual perform at the scene a number of tests known as field sobriety tests and may also administer a portable/preliminary breath test (PBT) at the scene. Once the officer believes he has enough information to support his suspicion, he will detain the individual and typically bring them to a police station, county detention facility or hospital where he will ask them to take an “evidentiary” test of their blood, breath or urine.

In accordance with Minnesota’s Implied Consent law, a person must submit to one of these tests or they will be charged with a test refusal. Typically, the officer will choose which of these 3 tests he wants the individual to submit to.

Refusal to Submit to Testing Consequences

A refusal is similar to an aggravating factor when determining the severity of a DWI offense. As such, a refusal elevates the normally charged crime to that of the next severity level. An example of this would be if a person has been picked up for a first time DWI offense they would normally be charged with a 4th degree DWI, barring any other aggravating factors. However, a test refusal would cause this individual to be charged with a 3rd degree refusal (and likely also a 4Th degree DWI). All refusals are charged as either a second degree or third degree gross misdemeanor crime or as a first degree felony.

License plate impoundment and even forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident are possible consequences when a test refusal occurs.

Possible Driver’s License Penalties

Revocation times for test refusal begin at one year for a first time refusal with no other aggravating factors. However, the revocation time can be much longer if other aggravating factors are present. Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

Refusal to submit to testing is a serious charge with severe consequences. Having an experienced attorney is therefore critical.

For more information see the Minnesota Test Refusal Statute 169A.52.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Under 21 DWI / DUI

In Minnesota, it is a crime for anyone under the age of 21 to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while consuming or after having consumed alcohol. Underage individuals can also face penalties under both the Underage Drinking and Driving and Not A Drop statutes, as well as normal DWI penalties if both are applicable.

Under 21 DWI / DUI Consequences

Penalties are the same for underage individuals as they are for adults. License plate impoundment and forfeiture of the vehicle used in the incident are also applicable.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

There are several alcohol-related laws that apply specifically to under 21 drivers. The exact age of an individual makes a difference. A first time underage drinking and driving conviction for an individual between 18-20 years of age can result in a loss of driving privileges for up to 180 days. However, the driver may be eligible for a work permit 15 days after the license has been revoked.

Whereas, a first time underage drinking and driving conviction for an individual under the age of 18 can also result in a loss of driving privileges for up to 180 days. However, the driver may not be eligible for a work permit 90 days after the license has been revoked.

Also consider when it comes to driving records juveniles do not have the protection of juvenile court where a record may be sealed.

An experienced attorney is essential when dealing with complex underage DWI laws. Our goal is to guide you through these difficult times and help obtain the best result possible for your individual situation.

For more information see the Minnesota Under 21 Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.33.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Minor Consumption Violation

Under Minnesota law, it is illegal for a person under the age of 21 years old to consume any alcohol.

However, if proven by a preponderance of the evidence, it is an affirmative defense to a minor consumption violation if the defendant consumed the alcoholic beverage in the household of their parent or guardian and with the consent of the parent or guardian.

Additionally, if you are under 21 it is illegal to purchase or attempt to purchase any alcoholic beverage unless under the supervision of a responsible person over the age of 21 for training, education, or research purposes.

It is also illegal for a person under 21 to possess any alcoholic beverage with intent to consume it at a place other than the household of their parent or guardian. Possession of alcohol in a place other than that of a parent or guardian creates a rebut-table presumption of intent to consume.

An experienced attorney is essential when dealing with complex underage drinking laws. Our goal is to guide you through these difficult times and help obtain the best result possible for your individual situation.

For more information see the Minnesota Underage Drinking And Driving Statute 340A.503.

See also Not a Drop Violation

See also Under 21 DWI / DUI

Not a Drop Violation

Under Minnesota law it is a crime for any person under the age of 21 years to drive after consuming any alcohol. If an underage person drinks and drives, they will face penalties under Minnesota’s “Not A Drop” law and possibly the DWI laws.

The “Not A Drop” law does not require proof that the driver was over 0.08%. To be arrested, all that is required is the underage driver show signs of consuming any amount of alcohol.

Not a Drop Violation Consequences

A conviction under the “Not A Drop” law gives the state the right to suspend the driver’s license under circumstances that may not warrant license suspension of an adult.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

Assuming the driver takes a Breathalyzer test and the test results is under 0.08%, the individual’s driver’s license may not revoked immediately. However, if the driver is found guilty or violates the “Not A Drop” law and he/she is a first time offender, his/her driver’s license will be suspended for 30 days and a $20 reinstatement fee will be assessed. If the driver is a second time offender, his/her license will be suspended for 180 days and a $20 reinstatement fee will be assessed.

It is also important to note that underage drivers are subject to adult DWI laws.

An experienced attorney is essential when dealing with complex underage drinking laws. Our goal is to guide you through these difficult times and help obtain the best result possible for your individual situation.

For more information see the Minnesota Underage Drinking and Driving Statute 169A.33.

See also Under 21 DWI / DUI Penalties

See also Minor Consumption Violation

Boating DWI / DUI (BWI)

DWI laws make it a crime to operate anything that is motorized while impaired. Therefore, DWI laws apply to boats and one can be convicted of DWI while operating a motorized vehicle such as a boat. This crime is commonly referred to as Boating While Impaired (BWI).

Generally, a boater cannot be convicted of BWI while in control of a motorboat if the boat is anchored, beached or securely fastened to a dock. Similarly, one cannot be convicted of BWI if the boat is being rowed or powered by other mechanical means. However, if the boat has a motor and is merely adrift or in neutral one can still be charged with a BWI just as if the boat was being actively driven.

BWI Consequences

Depending on one’s prior DWI history, penalties for BWI can include jail time and severe monetary fines just like any other BWI offense. Further, even on a first BWI offense you can lose boat operating privileges for 90 days between May 1 and October 31 and the period will carry over to the next calendar year if not completed in one calendar year. Multiple BWI offenses can result in a forfeiture of the boat, which is the same as any other vehicle.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

If a driver’s first DWI offense occurs on a boat it is possible that they may not lose their actual driver’s license. However, if a driver of a boat has qualified prior impaired driving incidents within a ten year period, a BWI will be treated as any other DWI as far as driving revocations are concerned.

Experience matters with a crime as complex as BWI. Gerald Miller PA has over 30 years of experience helping and guiding people through these frightening and difficult times.

For more information see the Minnesota Boating While Impaired Statute 169A.20.

All Terain Vehicle DWI / DUI (DWI ATV)

DWI laws make it a crime to operate anything that is motorized while impaired. Therefore, DWI laws apply to All Terrain Vehicles (ATV’s) and you can be convicted of DWI while operating a motor vehicle such as an ATV. This crime is commonly referred to as Driving-While-Impaired All Terrain Vehicle (DWI ATV).

DWI ATV Consequences

Depending on one’s prior DWI history, penalties for DWI ATV can include jail time and heavy monetary fines just like any other DWI offense. Further, even on a 1st DWI ATV you can lose ATV operating privileges for an entire year.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

If a driver’s first DWI offense occurs on an ATV, it is possible that one may not lose their actual Minnesota driver’s license. However, if a driver of an ATV has qualified prior impaired driving incidents within a ten year period a DWI ATV will be treated as any other DWI as far as driving privilege revocations are concerned.

Experience matters with a crime as complex as DWI ATV. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years of experience helping and guiding people through these frightening and difficult times.

For more information see the Minnesota All Terrain Vehicle Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.20.

Snowmobile DWI / DUI (SWI)

DWI laws make it a crime to operate anything that is motorized while impaired. Therefore, DWI laws apply to snowmobiles and you can be convicted of DWI while operating a motor vehicle such as a snowmobile. This crime is commonly referred as Snowmobiling While Impaired (SWI).

SWI Consequences

Depending on one’s prior DWI history, penalties for SWI can include jail time and heavy monetary fines just like any other DWI offense. Further, even on a 1st SWI while operating a snowmobile offense, you can lose snowmobile operating privileges for an entire year.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

If a driver’s first SWI offense occurs on a snowmobile, it is possible that one may not lose their Minnesota driver’s license. However, if a driver of a snowmobile has qualified prior impaired driving incidents within a ten year period a SWI will be treated as any other DWI as far as driving privilege revocations are concerned.

Experience matters with a crime as complex as SWI. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years of experience helping and guiding people through these frightening and difficult times.

For more information see the Minnesota Snow Mobile Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.20.

Any Recreational Vehicle DWI / DUI

DWI laws make it a crime to operate anything that is motorized while impaired. Therefore, DWI laws apply to vehicles such as: boats, ATV’s snowmobiles, airplanes and even golf carts and riding lawn mowers. You can be convicted of DWI while operating any of these motor vehicles.

Any Recreational Vehicle DWI / DUI Consequences

Depending on one’s prior DWI history, penalties for DWI while operating a motorized vehicle of any kind can include jail time and heavy monetary fines just like any other DWI offense. Further, even a 1st DWI while operating a motorized vehicle offense can cause you to lose operating privileges for that vehicle for some period of time.

Possible Driver’s License Sanctions

While operating a recreational vehicle may not be exactly the same as driving a car while impaired, a recreational vehicle DWI can still have an effect on a person’s Minnesota driver’s license. If a driver’s first DWI offense occurs on a recreational vehicle, it is possible that there will be no revocation of the Minnesota driver’s license. However, if a driver of a recreational vehicle has qualified prior impaired driving incidents within a ten year period, a recreational vehicle DWI will be treated as any other DWI as far as driving privilege revocations are concerned.

Experience matters with a crime as complex as DWI. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years of experience helping and guiding people through these frightening and difficult times.

For more information see the Minnesota Any Recreational Vehicle Driving While Impaired Statute 169A.20.

Driving After Cancellation

DAC, DAR and DAS Overview

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) maintains your driving record, which contains information about driving and licensing violations in Minnesota, as well as in other states. Your driver’s license may be withdrawn via the DPS by suspension, revocation or cancellation following serious or recurring traffic violations.

If you plead guilty and your license is withdrawn, the Department of Public Safety will send you a notice of withdrawal and a list of requirements to have your driver’s license reinstated.

Driving After Cancellation

Driving after cancellation (DAC) is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the state of Minnesota. It refers to a person that has had their driver’s license or driving privileges cancelled and been given notice of the cancellation, but disobeys the order by operating any motor vehicle while the person’s license or privilege is cancelled. It is also the most serious offense as it often relates to the driver having a number of driving while impaired violations.

        • Acquire a mental or physical disability that makes you incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely;
        • Do not pass a test that is legally requested by DPS to determine your ability to drive safely;
        • Give false or misleading information on your license application;
        • Commit a crime for which cancellation of your license is a legal punishment;
        • Do not qualify for a driver’s license under Minnesota law

If the driving privilege was cancelled as inimical to public safety as a result of multiple DWI convictions, the subsequent DAC will likely be charged as a gross misdemeanor.

If the DAC is charged as a gross misdemeanor you will face up to a year of jail time and a $3,000 fine per count. However, if the driving privilege was originally cancelled for another reason, the DAC may be charged as a misdemeanor. All misdemeanor charges, however, carry a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 per count.

Similarly, if you plead guilty to or are convicted of driving after cancellation, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 days. This is true even if you had your license valid again before entering your guilty plea to the DAC.

Driving After Revocation

Driving after revocation (DAR) is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the state of Minnesota. It refers to a person that has had their driving privileges or driver’s license revoked and been given notice of the revocation, but disobeys the order by operating any motor vehicle while their driver’s license or privileges are revoked.

Your driver’s license may be revoked if you:

        • Refuse to take a blood, breath or urine intoxication test;
        • Are convicted of manslaughter or any criminal actions while driving a motor vehicle;
        • Are convicted of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
        • Are convicted of a felony in which you used a motor vehicle;
        • Are convicted of driving in excess of 100 mph;
        • Are convicted of fleeing a police officer;
        • Are convicted of failing to stop, identify yourself or render aid when involved in an accident;
        • Are convicted of lying under oath to DPS or its agents;
        • Are convicted of signing any legal documents containing false information about legal vehicle ownership;
        • Are convicted of making a false statement to DPS;
        • Plead guilty or forfeit bail for three violations in a single year of any Minnesota traffic law requiring jail;
        • Are convicted of an offense in another state that would be grounds for revoking your license in Minnesota;
        • Are convicted of a misdemeanor for driving a motor vehicle with prior knowledge that the owner of the vehicle did not have no-fault vehicle insurance;
        • Own a vehicle without no-fault insurance and are found to have driven it or allowed others to drive it, with full knowledge that the vehicle was not insured;
        • Are convicted of a gross misdemeanor for failing to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing;
        • Are convicted of selling or possessing a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle;

After the period of revocation has ended, your driving privileges may be reinstated if all requirements for reinstatement are met. Requirements include but are not limited to:

        • Payment of the reinstatement fee;
        • Passing the appropriate exams;
        • Showing the proper identification when you take the knowledge test or road test;
        • You must apply for a new license after all your testing requirements are met

Since a DAR is a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 per count.

Similarly, if you plead guilty to or are convicted of driving after revocation, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 days. This is true even if you had your license valid again before entering your guilty plea to the DAR.

For more information see the Minnesota Driving After Revocation Statute 171.24.

Driving After Suspension

Driving after suspension (DAS) is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the state of Minnesota. It refers to a person that has been caught operating any motor vehicle after their driver’s license has been suspended by the court and after being notified by the court of the suspension of their driver’s license.

Your driver’s license may be suspended if you:

        • Repeatedly violate traffic laws;
        • Are convicted for a violation causing a traffic accident resulting in death, injury or property damage;
        • Use, or allow someone else to use, your license for an illegal action;
        • Commit a traffic offense in another state that would be grounds for suspension in Minnesota;
        • Are judged in court to be legally unfit to drive a motor vehicle;
        • Fail to report a medical condition that would result in cancellation of driving privileges;
        • Fail to stop for a school bus with stop arm extended and red lights flashing (second offense in 5 years);
        • Are found to possess a fake or altered license;
        • Make a fraudulent application for a license or ID card;
        • Take any part of the driver’s license exam for someone else, or allow someone else to take it for you falsely identify yourself to a police officer;
        • Fail to appear in court or pay a fine on a motor vehicle-related violation when required to do so;
        • Are convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of Minnesota traffic law;
        • Use, or allow someone else to use, a license, permit, or ID card to buy tobacco products for someone who is under 18 years of age, or alcohol for someone who is under 21 years of age;
        • Are convicted of underage drinking and driving;
        • Are convicted for theft of gasoline

After the period of revocation has ended, your driving privileges may be reinstated if all requirements for reinstatement are met. Requirements include but are not limited to:

        • Payment of the reinstatement fee;
        • Passing the appropriate exams;
        • Showing the proper identification when you take the knowledge test or road test;
        • You must apply for a new license after all your testing requirements are met

Since a DAS is a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 per count.

Similarly, if you plead guilty to or are convicted of driving after suspension, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 days. This is true even if you had your license valid again before entering your guilty plea to the DAS.

After the suspension period has ended, your driving privileges may be reinstated if all the requirements set forth by the DPS are met.

For more information see the Minnesota Driving After Suspension Statute 171.24.

Driving After Revocation

Driving after revocation (DAR) is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the state of Minnesota. One is charged with this crime if they are caught driving while their license is revoked.

Possible Consequences

Since a DAR is a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 per count.

Similarly, if you plead guilty to or are convicted of driving after revocation, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 days. This is true even if you had your license valid again before entering your guilty plea to the DAR.

If you have been charged with driving after revocation having an experienced attorney is critical. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years experience helping people obtain the best possible results for any traffic violation.

For more information see the Minnesota Driving After Revocation Statute 171.24.

Driving After Suspension

Driving after suspension (DAS) is one of the most commonly charged crimes in the state of Minnesota. One is charged with this crime if they are caught driving while their license is suspended.

Possible Consequences

Since a DAS is a misdemeanor, the maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 per count.

Similarly, if you plead guilty to or are convicted of driving after suspension, you automatically lose your license for at least 30 days. This is true even if you had your license valid again before entering your guilty plea to the DAS.

If you have been charged with driving after suspension having an experienced attorney is critical. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years experience helping people obtain the best possible results for any traffic violation.

For more information see the Minnesota Driving After Suspension Statute 171.24.

Fleeing the Police

Minnesota is no exception to having specific criminal laws aimed to punish attempts to evade police officers in a motor vehicle. Intended to create a deterrent for trying to escape or make an officer’s investigation more difficult, Minnesota statutes provide for punishments that can be added onto the primary crime or be levied even if the person was originally only wanted for questioning and not arrest.

A driver may be charged with fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle if the individual increases their speed, turns off their headlights or taillights, fails to stop or uses other means to evade to police after the officer signals the driver to stop.

Fleeing the Police Consequences

In Minnesota, fleeing police is a felony and can be punished with a fine of up to $5,000 and up to three years of incarceration.

However, if someone gets hurt as a result of the flee, the penalty increases up to seven years’ incarceration and $14,000.

Similarly, if someone is killed, the driver can face up to 40 years’ incarceration and $80,000 in fines.

Fleeing the Police Driver’s License Sanctions

Upon receipt of a criminal complaint or indictment for fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend your driving privilege for one year. Additionally, no limited license will be issued.

Upon receipt on a criminal conviction for fleeing a police officer, the DPS will revoke your driving privileges as follows:

        • First offense = 1 year
        • Second or subsequent offense = 3 years
        • Offense resulting in substantial bodily harm = 5 years
        • Offense resulting in great bodily harm = 7 years
        • Offense resulting in death = 10 years
The Difference Between Substantial and Great Bodily Harm
        • Substantial bodily harm is an injury which causes a temporary but serious disfigurement or fracture.
        • Great bodily harm is an injury which creates a high chance of death or permanent disfigurement.

Criminal Vehicular Operation (CVO)

Criminal Vehicular Operation (CVO) is the most serious of all driving misconduct. There are six different levels of CVO, with all but one constituting a felony offense. The six different levels are:

        1. Criminal vehicular homicide causing death;
        2. Great bodily harm causing serious permanent injury;
        3. Substantial bodily harm causing temporary substantial injury;
        4. Death to an unborn child;
        5. Injury to an unborn child;
        6. Bodily harm causing pain or injury (a gross misdemeanor)

A person is guilty of CVO if they cause injury to, or death of, another as a result of operating a vehicle:

        • In a grossly negligent manner;
        • In a negligent manner while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or both;
        • While having an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more (as measured within two hours of the time of driving);
        • Where the driver leaves the scene of the accident
CVO Consequences

Upon receipt of a criminal complaint/indictment for CVO the Department of Public Safety (DPS) will suspend the driving privilege for one year. Suspension will be terminated upon dismissal or acquittal. If convicted, the person’s driving privilege will be revoked. The revocation period is equal to the maximum period of incarceration for the criminal conviction.

Additionally, the offender must pass an alcohol and controlled substance knowledge test, apply for a new Minnesota driver’s license and pay a $680 reinstatement fee.

A felony or gross misdemeanor CVO is a serious offense with severe consequences. An attorney who is experienced with is invaluable. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years of experience in criminal defense and the knowledge to help you through these difficult times.

For more information see the Minnesota Criminal Vehicular Homicide and Injury Statute 609.21.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

License Plate Impoundment

In Minnesota, the state has the authority to take the license plate off a motor vehicle and destroy them. Plate impoundment is an administrative sanction and can be imposed quickly, in most cases at the time of the arrest. Typically, the officer orders the vehicle towed and the plates are removed.

The violator is subject to plate impoundment if he or she has had one or more qualified impaired driving violations within the past ten years, refuses to take an alcohol test or through other aggravating factors. Plate impoundment may be triggered for driving a motor vehicle after suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the person’s driver’s license. It is also important to note that plate impoundment applies to the vehicle used in the incident even if the offender does not own it.

Administritive Review

A person who has received an impoundment order may request an administrative review by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) of the impoundment order at any time during the period of impoundment. The request for review must be made in writing. The DPS will review the order and the evidence to determine whether sufficient cause exists to sustain the order. The DPS must decide, in writing, whether to sustain or rescind the order within 15 days of receiving the request for review.

Judicial Review

A petition for a judicial review of an impoundment order must, among other things, be served and filed within 30 days of the issuance of the impoundment order. The petition must contain the petitioner’s name, address, date of birth and license plate number. Additionally, the petitioner must include details of the stop and specific grounds for which the rescission of the impoundment order is being sought. Exact compliance with the statute is mandatory.

The registrar of motor vehicles will re-issue regular plates for the vehicle subject to the impoundment order if:

        1. The driver’s license revocation that is the basis for the impoundment order is rescinded;
        2. The charges for the plate impoundment violation are dismissed with prejudice;
        3. The violator has been acquitted of the plate impoundment violation

License plate impoundment is complicated and extremely time sensitive. Having an experienced attorney by your side is therefore critical to contesting any license plate impoundment issue. Gerald Miller PA has defended thousands of DWI-related cases throughout the past 35 years.

For more information see the License Plate Impoundment Statute 169A.60.

Implied Consent Hearing

In Minnesota, there is a presumption that any person who drives, operates, or is in physical control of any type of motor vehicle in the state consents to a chemical, blood, breath, or urine test for the purposes of determining their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of controlled or hazardous substances in their body. The testing is administered at the discretion of the officer when there is probable cause to believe the person has been driving while impaired.

If an individual refused or submitted to testing, and that testing resulted in a .08% or more blood alcohol level, their driver’s license will be revoked for a prescribed period of time. The prescribed revocation period depends upon, among other things, the individual’s test level and prior DWI / license revocation history.

Minnesota law does allow for an individual to contest the revocation of his or her driver’s license. The motorist may use the administrative review procedure, the judicial review procedure or both to challenge the license revocation. However, the two procedures are completely separate and have no binding effect upon each other.

Administrative Review

Any person whose license is suspended under the implied consent statute may request an administrative review. Unlike judicial review, which must be sought within 30 days after issuance of the notice and order of revocation, administrative review remains available throughout the revocation period. However, once the revocation period has been served and the license reinstated, a person is deemed to have waived the right to administrative review.

A request for an administrative review must be in writing and include the petitioner’s name, date of birth, driver’s license number, and a written statement upon which the person seeks to have the revocation rescinded.

Upon request, the Commission of Public Safety reviews the reports and evidence and renders a decision. The decision must be issued within 15 days after the request is received.

Judicial Review

Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, a petitioner seeking judicial review must submit to the court:

        1. A petition for judicial review;
        2. Proof of services of the petition upon the proper parties;
        3. Filing fees

Additionally, the availability of judicial review is limited to 30 days after the date on which the notice and order of revocation was issued. If you fail to serve and file within 30 days exactly as prescribed by statute, you are deemed to have forever waived judicial review on the matter.

It is important to note that a DWI criminal proceeding and an implied consent hearing are separate and independent matters. Therefore, decisions in favor of the driver in one proceeding do not have any automatic effect in the other proceeding. Generally, the trial court will issue a decision within 14 days after the hearing.

Minnesota Implied Consent Law is extremely complicated and time sensitive. Having an experienced attorney by your side is therefore critical to contesting any license revocation. Gerald Miller PA has defended thousands of DWI-related cases throughout the past 35 years.

For more information see the Minnesota Implied Consent Statute 169A.51.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Motor Vehicle Forfeiture

Generally speaking, a person charged with DWI can face motor vehicle forfeiture in a situation in which he or she faces a driver’s license revocation or a driving while impaired charge for the third time in a ten year period. However, there are instances in which a person can face motor vehicle forfeiture on a second time license revocation or DWI charge.

Pursuant to the Minnesota motor vehicle forfeiture law, a law enforcement officer actually has the legal authority to seize the motor vehicle of a driver suspected of DWI at the time of the arrest. Following the seizure itself, the police, prosecuting attorney or its agent will serve notice of intent to seek a forfeiture of the motor vehicle.

If you have been served with a notice of intent to forfeit your motor vehicle as a result of a DWI arrest, you have a right to a judicial determination by a judge as to whether your vehicle should, in fact, be forfeited. If a driver would like to have a judicial determination, he or she must file a challenge to the forfeiture within a specified period of time from the date he or she was served with the notice of intent to forfeit the motor vehicle. If such a challenge is not made exactly as prescribed by statute and within the statutorily required period, the driver or owner can be deemed to have waived their right to a judicial determination of the forfeiture. That is why it is imperative that you contact a lawyer immediately after being arrested for a DWI offense to review all of your rights.

Having an attorney who is experienced with motor vehicle forfeitures is invaluable during this stressful period. Gerald Miller PA has over 35 years of experience in all levels of DWI law.

For more information see the Minnesota Motor Vehicle Forfeiture Statute 169A.63.

Inimical to Public Safety Violation

The Department of Public Safety may cancel a person’s driver’s license when it deems that the person operating the vehicle is inimical to public safety. Inimical to public safety essentially means that a person is unable to control a vehicle without endangering others and often occurs after a driver’s third DWI offense in a ten year period or a 4th DWI throughout their lifetime.

Drivers deemed inimical to public safety must go through a rigorous chemical dependency treatment program in order to have their driver’s license reinstated. In addition, the renewed license will be subject to a B-Card Restriction, prohibiting the driver from any use of alcohol.

Any violation of this restriction will lead to a revocation of the person’s driver’s license and subsequent rehabilitation periods as well as criminal charges and penalties.

B-Card/restricted driver’s license law is extremely complicated. Having an experienced attorney is therefore essential. Gerald Miller PA has 35 years experience defending thousands of DWI cases and will fight to ensure you receive the best result possible based on your individual case.

For more information see the Minnesota B-Card Violation Statute 171.09.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota House of Representatives.

B-Card Violation

The “B-Card” is a restricted driver’s license issued by the Department of Public Safety (DPS) to persons with at least three prior qualified incidents within ten years or with four prior qualified incidents in their lifetime. An individual receiving a B-Card must agree, in writing, to permanently abstain from drugs and alcohol as well as successfully complete chemical dependency and rehabilitation treatment.

B-Card Violation Consequences

A B-Card violation will result in the DPS revoking the person’s license. This is significant because before a person can re-acquire a valid B-Card he/she must, among other things, again successfully complete chemical dependency treatment and rehabilitation. The DPS also requires documented proof of drug and alcohol abstinence for minimum period of:

        1. One year for a person’s first rehabilitation;
        2. Three years for a person’s second rehabilitation;
        3. Six years for a person’s third or subsequent rehabilitation

B-Card/restricted driver’s license law is extremely complicated. Having an experienced attorney is therefore essential. Gerald Miller PA has 35 years experience defending thousands of DWI cases and will fight to ensure you receive the best result possible based on your individual case.

For more information see the Minnesota B-Card Violation Statute 171.09.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Work-Permit / Limited License Violation

In some instances, a person whose driver’s license has been revoked for either a DWI or implied consent violation may apply for a limited license to drive:

        • To and from work or to apply for a job;
        • To and from chemical dependency treatment programs;
        • To provide for medical, educational, or nutritional needs of the family; and/or
        • For attendance to a postsecondary educational institute.
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.

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 experience and has handled thousands of DWI cases.

For more information see the Work Permit / Limited License Statute 171.30.

For a review of criminal penalties and driver license sanctions see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

Ignition Interlock Violation

The new legislation includes increased penalties for violations of the ignition interlock device program. Violations and penalties include the following:

Violations Administrative Penalties
Tampering, bypassing or circumventing the device. Attempting to tamper, bypass, or circumvent the device.Operating a vehicle the ignition interlock device.Violation of the ignition interlock limited license. 1st OffenseAn additional 180 days will be added to the violator’s revocation period.
Failure to provide at least 30 verifications of abstinence breath tests each month. 2nd OffenseAn additional one year will be added to the violator’s most recent revocation period.
Three failures to take a rolling retest within a six months period. 3rd OffenseAn additional 545 days will be added to the violator’s most recent revocation period.
An alcohol reading at or greater than .02 with no retest within 25 minutes.An alcohol reading at or greater than .02 with a retest within 35 minutes at or great than .02 Revoked StatusAn additional 90 days from the date of the violation and it only applies to the last 90 days of the program.Cancelled & Denied StatusMust re-enroll in the program and start the revocation period over.

An ignition interlock violation is a serious offense that can lead to harsh consequences. It is crucial that you obtain an experienced attorney to help you through these difficult times. Gerald Miller PA has defended thousands of DWI-related cases over 35 years.

For more information see the Minnesota Ignition Interlock Statute 171.306.

For a review of the consequences for an ignition interlock violation see the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

See Ignition Interlock Procedures for more information.