Minnesota DWI Laws

St. Paul DWI Attorneys

There are a number of various Minnesota DWI laws that are simply hard to categorize among the other pages devoted to the complex DWI laws. So what follows is a list of miscellaneous, yet important, DWI laws.

Length of Probation

Courts are authorized to stay execution of a criminal sentence and, instead, place a defendant on probation, subject to terms and conditions. The stayed sentence is available for all levels of crime, including felonies. A statutory-mandated condition, though, is that the defendant must submit to the level of care recommended in a chemical dependency assessment, which is also required by statutes (see below).

The length of probation depends on the level of offense: misdemeanor DWIs are up to 2 years, gross misdemeanors are up to 6 years, and felonies are either 4 years or the maximum length of a prison sentence – whichever is longer.

Penalty Assessment

If the defendant is convicted of a DWI with an alcohol concentration above .20, the Court may impose a penalty assessment of up to $1,000.00 in addition to any fine. While atypical, this is still an assessment any defendant faced with a high reading should be aware of and should fight if a prosecutor seeks to impose this penalty.

Evidence at Trial

When prosecuting a driving while impaired charge (the charge not predicated on whether the defendant had an alcohol concentration in excess of .08 as measured at the time or within two hours), the Court may admit into evidence the following:

  • Evidence that the defendant had an alcohol concentration above .04 is relevant in determining whether the defendant was under the influence of alcohol;
  • Evidence that the defendant refused to submit to the implied consent test is (perhaps) relevant; and
  • Evidence of implied consent tests taken more than two-hours after the alleged violation.

Aiding and Abetting

While rarely seen, any person who attempts to commit, conspires to commit, or aids or abets in any violation of the DWI laws may be prosecuted for that offense. Similarly, any person who causes another person to violate any DWI law may also be prosecuted for that offense.

For more on Minnesota DWI laws, click here.