You made a mistake. Not surprisingly, many Americans do. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, an estimated 4 million U.S. adults reported driving under the influence of alcohol at least once in 2010. This equates to an estimated 112 million alcohol-impaired driving episodes. It is illegal for anyone to drive or operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, if their alcohol concentration at the time of the operation or within two hours is .08 or more. The consequences for a DWI will vary depending on what level you are charged with. There are four levels of a DWI in Minnesota.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT DWI CHARGES IN MINNESOTA?
- First-Degree DWI. A person is guilty of a first-degree DWI, a felony, if he has had three or more DWIs within the last ten years; have previously been convicted of a felony DWI; have a felony conviction of felony criminal vehicular homicide, injury substance-related. The maximum penalty is seven years in prison and/or a $14,000 fine.
- Second-Degree DWI. A person is guilty of a second-degree DWI, a gross misdemeanor, if he has had two previous DWI convictions within the last ten years, or refuses a breathalyzer test, or refuses a blood or urine test required by a search warrant. The maximum penalty is one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.
- Third-Degree DWI. A person is guilty of a third-degree DWI, a gross misdemeanor, if he has had one previous DWI conviction within the last ten years, or if he refuses a breathalyzer test, or refuses a blood or urine test required by a search warrant. The maximum penalty is one year in jail and/or a $3,000 fine.
- Fourth-Degree DWI. A person is guilty of a fourth-degree DWI, a misdemeanor, if he drives while impaired and does not have any other DWI convictions within the previous ten years. The maximum penalty is 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
Your DWI charge will fall within one of these. Like previously stated, the level will depend on the number of aggravating factors that are present at the time of the incident.
So now that you know what you are likely to be charged with, we will look at what exactly these aggravating factors are in our next blog post.
A DWI, although common, is a serious crime. A person who commits a DWI could find themselves in jail and facing thousands of dollars in fines. This could lead to job loss, a loss of freedom, and a lack of independence.
Derek Thooft has a proven track-record of zealously fighting for clients charged with a DWI. For more information and a free consultation, contact Derek Thooft at [email protected] or by phone at (651) 485-1254.