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DWI: Penalties, fines, and long-lasting consequences

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2023 | Criminal Defense

DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is a serious offense in Minnesota. In 2021 alone, the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety reported 24,324 DWI arrests. This report also recorded 3,922 alcohol-related crashes, 135 resulting in deaths.

Everyone knows that it can lead to severe consequences affecting every aspect of a person’s life. Here is a reminder of what’s at stake if you’re caught driving while intoxicated.

Penalties and fines

The penalties for DWI charges in Minnesota depend on the number of earlier DWI convictions and other factors involved. Here is an overview of penalties and fines.

  • First-time DWI offenders:
    • up to 90 days in jail
    • fine of up to $1,000
    • license suspension for up to 90 days
  • Second-time DWI offenders:
    • up to one year in jail
    • a fine of up to $3,000
    • license suspension for up to one year
  • Third-time DWI offenders:
    • up to one in jail
    • a fine of up to $3,000
    • license suspension for up to three years
  • Fourth-time DWI offenders:
    • up to seven years in prison
    • a fine of up to $14,000
    • license revocation for up to four years
    • may be charged with a felony if, within ten years

This is just an overview. Other fines and fees may be associated with a DWI conviction in Minnesota.

The long-lasting impact of DWI penalties and fines

Paying for fines, license suspension or revocation and possible jail time is just the tip of the iceberg. Consider the following:

  • Driving privileges: The suspension or revocation of your driver’s license can make getting to work or school difficult or impossible.
  • Employment: A DWI conviction can make finding or keeping a job challenging, especially in fields that require driving, such as trucking or delivery services.
  • Education: A DWI conviction can make it difficult to attend a school or pursue higher education, as it may affect a person’s eligibility for financial aid or scholarships.
  • Personal and family life: The financial burden of a DWI conviction’s fines and legal fees may cause stress and affect personal and family relationships.

Drunk driving is a mistake anyone can make, but it is crucial to take every allegation seriously. The effects of a DWI charge can go beyond just the penalties and fines. It can have a significant impact on a person’s future.