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What happens to my drivers’ license with a DWI?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2021 | Criminal Defense

Being arrested for DWI can be a scary experience. You’ll be understandably confused about what comes next and have a lot of questions about the process. A common question people ask is about their drivers’ license and whether they will lose it. The answer depends upon the specific circumstances of your case.

First offense

If you’re arrested for DWI and your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below .16, you can lose your driving privileges for 90 days. However, if someone pleads guilty to the DWI, this will be reduced to 30 days. If you don’t plead guilty, you have a choice of how to handle the 90-day period. Option one is to have no driving privileges for 15 days and a restricted license for the balance of the 90 days. Option two is to have full driving privileges for the entire time, but with an ignition interlock device.

If your BAC is .16 or above, the license revocation period is one year. For that year, your option is to either have no driving privileges at all or to use an ignition interlock device and have full privileges.

If you refuse to take a BAC test, the revocation period is one year. You may choose to have no privileges for 15 days and a limited license for the rest of the year, or spend the entire year with an ignition interlock device.

Second offense

For a second DWI within 10 years, the license is suspended for one year if the BAC is below .16 and for two years if the BAC is .16 or above. In both situations, a driver has the option of retaining a restricted license if an ignition interlock device is used.

Third offense

For a third DWI within 10 years, the license is cancelled for three years, regardless of BAC level. During this time, the driver can enroll in Minnesota’s ignition interlock program.