Throndset Michenfelder Law Office LLC
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An overview of Minnesota DWI laws

Nothing ends a night quite like an arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI). Even if you only had a few beers with your friends after work, you could be at risk of a DWI if you get behind the wheel. While you know it is always better to call for a safe ride home, you, like everyone else, sometimes make mistakes. Unfortunately, a mistake like a DWI can result in a permanent mark on your criminal record.

If you do get a DWI in Saint Michael, do you know what to expect if the court hands down a conviction? For an overview of Minnesota DWI laws, read further.

Blood alcohol limit

Minnesota, like other states, has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.08 percent. This means that if you have a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher, the prosecution does not need to provide any additional evidence in order for the court to convict you of a DWI. If your BAC is 0.16 percent or more, then you could face more severe penalties than someone with a lower BAC.

Implied consent

If you drive a car in Minnesota, you have automatically given your consent to a blood alcohol test, urine test or any other chemical test that the police want to conduct if they suspect you were driving under the influence. While you can refuse to take such a test, doing so can cost you your driver's license for a year.


A DWI conviction can range from a Fourth-Degree offense to a First-Degree. A Fourth-Degree DWI carries the least severe punishment with up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. A First-Degree offense is a felony and can land you with up to seven years in jail and $14,000 in fines. However, the punishment for a DWI often depends on the specific circumstances. For example, if the DWI occurred due to a collision that injured or killed another person or caused property damage, the court might pass a harsher punishment.

If you are facing a DWI charge, keep in mind that you still have rights and options. With a strong defense, you may be able to fight back and even beat a DWI charge.

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