DWI Laws in Minnesota

Learn the key facts about DWI in Minnesota.

In Minnesota, you can get a DWI if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher, regardless of whether your driving ability was actually impaired. And the law in Minnesota says that if you are driving a vehicle, you have given consent to submit to a chemical test for the purpose of determining the amount of alcohol in your blood. Here are some details on the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test in Minnesota and other details about Minnesota DWI law.

(Take a look at our BAC chart for an estimate of how many drinks it takes to get to the legal limit.)

In Minnesota, what are the consequences of refusing to take a chemical test (usually a breathalyzer or blood test) when suspected of DWI?

Here are the consequences for not taking a breathalyzer or blood test in Minnesota, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

1 year revocation of license

1 year revocation of license

1 year revocation of license

In Minnesota, when do police have to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC)?

In Minnesota, law enforcement officers are supposed to measure your BAC within two hours of driving. However, prosecutors may be able to prove your culpability for DWI even if your BAC is taken later than this time.

What is the maximum BAC for drivers under 21 in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, the maximum blood alcohol content (BAC) for drivers who are under 21 (considered minors under some drinking and driving laws) is 0%. Minnesota is a "zero tolerance" state.

What are the minimum jail times for a DWI in Minnesota?

Here are the minimum jail times for a DWI in Minnesota, broken out by whether this is your first, second, or third offense:

1st offense

2nd offense

3rd offense

No minimum required jail term

30 days jail

90 days jail

How long will prior DWI convictions remain relevant for sentencing purposes in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, prior DWI convictions stay on your record (and can be counted against you when you are being sentenced for another DUI/DWI offense) for 10 years.

Can a DWI be “pleaded down” to a "wet reckless" in Minnesota?

In Minnesota, it's possible for a person who's accused of driving while intoxicated to "plea bargain" for a lesser charge. When such a plea bargain is for a reckless driving charge, it's sometimes called a "wet reckless."

(Learn more about plea bargaining in Minnesota DWI cases and the consequences of a Minnesota reckless driving violation.)

Are ignition interlock devices (IIDs) required for convicted DWI offenders in Minnesota?

No. However, the court may allow drivers whose license have been revoked because of a DUI to drive during the period of revocation if they install an ignition device.

Where can I get more information about DWI laws in Minnesota?

Nolo's DUI/DWI topic has many helpful articles, including a Drunk Driving, DUI, and DWI FAQ. For more help after a DWI arrest, see Nolo's Lawyer Directory, where you can view in-depth profiles of Minnesota DWI attorneys in your area.

Last updated on 09/01/2010.

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