Minnesota DWI Law & Information:
There are two types of DWI charges:
- DWI – Driving While Impaired (Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(1))
- DWI – Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or more within 2 hours of driving (Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(5))
Most people are charged with both counts or offenses for one incident. This allows the prosecutor two ways to try to convict a defendant of a DWI.
Although you can be convicted of both charges, you can only be sentenced for one because the offenses involve one course of conduct.
The severity level of a DWI can be increased by aggravating factors. Each aggravating factor will “bump up” a DWI offense to a higher level of offense and potential penalty.
Aggravating factors include: (Minn. Stat. § 169A.03, subd. 3)
- Prior DWIs or DWI related license revocations within the preceding 10 years (each prior is counted as one factor, but a DWI and license revocation arising out of the same incident can only be counted as one prior);
- BAC of 0.20 or more within 2 hours of driving/operating/physical control of a motor vehicle; or
- Having a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time the offense occurred.
Important things to know:
You must challenge your license revocation within 30 days or you will lose any right to challenge it, even if you win your criminal case.
You must challenge your license revocation within 30 days AND the seizure of your vehicle within 60 days or you will lose any chance of getting your vehicle back.
Depending on your offense and the county, you may be able to get your license back while you fight your cases. An experienced attorney knows how to do this.