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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) & Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) are fairly common offenses in Minnesota. Under Minnesota law, it is a crime to drive or to be in control of a motor vehicle anywhere in the state or on any boundary water if the person:

  • is under the influence of alcohol, has a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%, has a .04% BAC or more within 2 hours of driving a commercial vehicle,
  • is knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that effects the nervous system, brain, or muscles that substantially impairs a person’s ability to operate the motor vehicle, or
  • if the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, other than marijuana. Having marijuana in your system is not a crime, and the state has the burden of proof that operation of the motor vehicle has been impaired.

There are 4 degrees of DUI/DWI offenses that range from a fourth-degree misdemeanor to a first-degree felony.

Criminal Test Refusal

In the past several years, there have been a number of cases and changes in DUI/DWI law. Most importantly, Minnesota law makes it a crime to refuse to submit to a test if police believe the person:

  • has been DUI/DWI and has been placed under arrest,
  • has been involved in an accident or collision resulting in property damage, personal injury, or death,
  • refused the screening test (preliminary breathalyzer/PBT), or
  • the results of the PBT showed a concentration of .08 or more.

Law enforcement is also required to provide a breath test advisory and inform people Minnesota law requires the person to take the test, that refusal to take the test is a crime, and that the person has the right to consult with an attorney, but that right cannot delay the test. Additionally, a search warrant is required for a blood or urine test.

Aggravating Factors

Except for Fourth degree offenses, every other DUI/DWI charge has one or more aggravating factors, meaning factors that increase the severity of the crime. There are three:

  • a previous DUI/DWI within the last 10 years,
  • a BAC of .16 or more, or
  • a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle that is also >3 years younger than the vehicle operator.

What should I do?

We are very experienced in handling DUI/DWI cases and receive favorable results for our clients. Contact us now at 651-364-1508 to see how we can help.

Frequently Asked Questions

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