DWI convictions have several potential consequences. According to the Minnesota House Research Department, impaired driving may lead to criminal and administrative punishments.
Administrative sanctions take effect immediately. For instance, refusing a breath test leads to the instant revocation of your license. Criminal sanctions occur at a later date in court after trial. Continue reading for a brief description of the penalties you might receive after a DWI conviction.
Besides losing your license, the police may impound your license plate or seize your vehicle. License plate impoundment occurs if you commit an aggravated driving violation. A previous DWI within 10 years, driving with a child under 16 and driving with a BAC of at least .16 are all aggravated offenses. Vehicle seizure occurs if you commit a first-degree DWI or three DWIs within 10 years.
The criminal penalties for a DWI vary greatly depending on the degree. Fourth-degree DWIs might result in 90 days in jail and $1,000 worth of fines. Third and second-degree offenses carry up to one year in jail and $3,000 in fines. First-degree crimes count as a felony on your record and may result in seven years in prison and $14,000 in fines.
Besides criminal and administrative punishments, you also have to contend with higher insurance rates and the prospect of getting to work without a car. Sometimes you may apply for a limited or restricted license so you can commute.
There are many other sanctions a DWI might carry in Minnesota. Each case is different, so do not assume anything until after your trial.