The Vikings football team may not have won the championship this year, but that doesn’t mean the state does not rank first in many other areas. For example, a recent report shows that Minnesota’s drunk driving laws raise the state to the number one spot for strictest laws in the country. While safety advocates may applaud this trend, those who are facing charges for driving while impaired may not have much time to celebrate as they prepare their DWI defense.

The study ranked all 50 states based on 21 elements, including how much jail time a convicted driver may receive, how heavy a fine someone might pay for DWI, and the length of a license suspension following a conviction. Out of 100 possible points, Minnesota received almost 77, more than any other state.

One of the factors that put this state on the top of the list is the requirement for instant license revocation of 90 days, followed by a year suspension. That’s just the beginning. Some officials estimate a first offense DWI conviction can cost a driver as much as $10,000 once he or she has paid fines, fees, court costs and the expense of license reinstatement. Repeat offenders must also pay to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles.

Minnesota also has a unique system of DWI levels, each carrying penalties of differing severities. In any case, someone convicted of drunk driving can expect to face consequences that may follow him or her for a lifetime. Having the assistance of an experienced DWI defense team means having an advocate to challenge the evidence and fight for a more positive outcome.