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Frequently Asked Questions in Minnesota DWI/DUI/Impaired & Drunk Driving Cases






What is the difference between "DUI" and "DWI"?
"DUI" typically means "Driving Under the Influence." This may or may not include a specific alcohol level. All that is required is that the Prosecutor show that the driver was impaired by alcohol.

"DWI" typically means "Driving While Intoxicated." Intoxication is usually defined as a prohibited alcohol level (.08 in Minnesota).

To complicate matters, Minnesota uses the term "Impaired Driving" which can be either impairment or a prohibited alcohol level. For more information, please go to our Common Terms Used in Drunk Driving Cases page.

Will I be able to get my MN DWI case dismissed because I was not read my Miranda rights?
Probably not - If you were interrogated without being Mirandized after being placed in custody, your statement may not be used against you. (Note: The Implied Consent Advisory, however, does not implicate Miranda.)

Will I go to jail?
It is always a possibility, but not always a probability. Although there are mandatory minimum penalties for certain repeat offenders, many of my clients have often been able to avoid these and stay out of jail.

What penalties am I facing if convicted?
There are a variety of possible criminal and administrative penalties depending on many factors. More info is on my DWI penalties page.

I had two alcohol offenses when I was younger. What will happen to my license if I have a third conviction?
Depending on when the prior offenses occurred you could face a minimum 90 day revocation and up to an indefinite cancellation of your driving privilege.

What makes a  DWI a felony?
Under Minnesota Law, a felony is any DWI offense for which more than 1 year in jail may be imposed. See my felony DWI information page.

This is my third DWI within ten years, what will become of my license?
You could face a minimum 90 day revocation and up to an indefinite cancellation of your driving privilege.

There was an injury in my accident, what other penalties am I facing?
If you are charged with Criminal Vehicular Operation or Vehicular Homicide, the charges can be very serious.  Refer to my criminal vehicular operation page.

How many hours of alcohol classes will I have to take?
This will depend upon the recommendation of your Chemical Use Assessment (CUA). In some cases, you may need to complete treatment before the Department of Public Safety (DPS) reinstates your license. These can range anywhere from no recommendation to long-term treatment.

What will happen if I do not complete the conditions ordered by the Court?
If you are found in violation of the conditions imposed at sentencing, you could be ordered to serve any jail time that was originally suspended. Each case is very different, however, and you should consult with an experienced attorney at our firm to discuss your specific situation.

I lost my Minnesota license. May I obtain a license in another state?
Probably not.

Can I get a limited license or work permit?
Some driver's are eligible for a limited license. Eligibility depends on your test result and your prior history. Please see my Limited Driver's License page for details. In cases where a driver is not eligible for a limited license, he/she can apply for driving privileges with the use of an Ignition Interlock device.

What is a B-Card restricted license?
It's a license with specific restrictions from the Department of Public Safety. See my b-card license page for details.

How much are the fees for license reinstatement?
See my Minnesota license reinstatement fees page for details.

Are there special considerations and penalties for someone who is underage and arrested for DWI?
Yes, see my Under 21 Penalties page.

What other special vehicle circumstances have different DWI laws and issues to be aware of?
There are special considerations and unique and specific penalties if you are arrested for a DWI while driving a Commercial Vehicle, School Bus, Off-road Vehicle or Watercraft, of Flying While Intoxicated.

If I obtain an international driver's license, may I drive in Minnesota, even though my Minnesota license is revoked?
No. DO NOT MAKE THIS MISTAKE! See my International Driver's License Page.

How Long Are DWI Offenses Kept on a Minnesota Driving Record?
Records of implied consent license actions and DWI convictions must be kept on the official driving record for at least 15 years. In practice, the DPS keeps these records for a driver's lifetime.

Am I a bad person, because I was arrested for DWI?
No, DUI/DWI cases are the number one crime committed by non-criminals (persons with no prior criminal record). But you are well advised not to drink and drive in Minnesota - the risks are too great, and MN DUI/DWI penalties can be strict.

If I drink alcohol, how much is too much?
Please refer to my Breath Alcohol Calculator to determine how many drinks may indicate legal impairment. If you are concerned about your drinking, check out this alcohol screening site.

What if I burped or regurgitated within twenty minutes prior to blowing?
The breath machine may have read alcohol from your mouth or stomach rather than your lungs. The result may be incorrect. A similar problem occurs with dentures or acid reflux disease (GERD).

Call me today at 612-334-3342 for a free MN DWI/DUI case legal consultation.

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