Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a charge that involves serious penalties in the state of Minnesota. Even people facing charges for the first time could face fines, jail time and the loss of their license. What consequences might come with a first-time drunk driving conviction?
First time DWI charges can lead to severe penalties
Even first-time drunk driving offenses can lead to severe penalties for drivers. Drunk driving charges with no prior charges on your record is a misdemeanor charge under Minnesota law. As a result, drivers will spend up to 90 days in jail and pay up to $1,000 in fines.
However, drivers that refuse a test, have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .16 or higher or have other aggravating factors face greater penalties. Those drivers will face a gross misdemeanor charge and may face fines of up to $3,000 and up to one year in jail.
A first drunk driving charge will also lead to driver’s license revocation.
For a first drunk driving charge, a driver over the age of 21 will lose their license for 90 days. This revocation may be reduced after a conviction. To have a driver’s license reinstated, you will have to pay a fee at the end of the revocation period and fulfill other requirements.
Some factors increase the amount of time that a person will lose their license after a first offense. If you refuse a breath test or have a BAC of .16 or higher, the authorities will revoke your license for 1 year. In cases involving an accident and injury, the authorities can revoke a license for up to 6 years depending on the severity of the injuries involved.
Because of the wide-ranging impact that jail time, fines and license revocation can have on a person’s life, it is important for people facing DWI charges take these charges seriously and to create a strong defense.