DUI/DWI Attorney Serving Roseville, Minnesota

Are you facing a DUI/DWI charge in Roseville or elsewhere in Minnesota? Are you worrying about how it could affect your future? Don’t lose hope. A DWI lawyer from Duffy Defense can examine your case, help you explore your options, and work hard to reduce or eliminate the criminal charges against you. Contact Duffy Defense today for a free initial consultation to take the first step toward defending your rights.

Understanding Minnesota’s DUI/DWI Laws

In Minnesota, it is illegal for anyone to drive, operate, or control a vehicle if they are impaired by alcohol or drugs. Under state law, you are considered impaired if:

  • You are under the influence of alcohol.
  • You are under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • You are under the influence of any intoxicating substance that you know can cause impairment.
  • You are under the influence of a combination of the substances mentioned above.
  • Your alcohol concentration measures 0.08 or more within two hours of operating the vehicle.
  • You are driving a commercial vehicle, and your alcohol concentration measures 0.04 or more within two hours of operating the vehicle.
  • Your body contains any amount of a Schedule I or II controlled substance, except for certain cannabis products.
  • You are under the influence of cannabis products or certain cannabinoids.

Refusing a chemical test of your breath, blood, or urine is also illegal when the police request it based on a valid search warrant or under the state’s implied consent laws. The consequences of breaking this law vary depending on the specific circumstances and any previous offenses on your record.

Penalties for DUI/DWI in Minnesota

The consequences of a DWI conviction in Minnesota are serious and increase with each offense. Below, we outline the penalties for first-time through fourth or subsequent offenses.

First-Time DWI Convictions

  • If your alcohol concentration is under 0.16, the offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. You could also face 90 days without driving privileges.
  • If your alcohol concentration is 0.16 or more, or if there’s a child in the vehicle, the offense becomes a gross misdemeanor. For this offense, you could face up to a year in jail and a $3,000 fine, plus loss of driving privileges or mandatory ignition interlock device (IID) installation for one year. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) could also impound your license plates.
  • If you refuse to take a chemical test, you could be charged with a gross misdemeanor and face up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. You could also lose your driving privileges or be required to install an IID for a year.

Second-Time DWI Convictions within Ten Years

  • If your alcohol concentration is under 0.16, the offense is a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. You also face one year without driving privileges or one year of mandatory IID installation, and DPS could impound your license plates.
  • If your alcohol concentration is 0.16 or more, or if there’s a child in the vehicle, the same jail time and fines apply. However, administrative penalties increase to two years without driving privileges or two years of IID installation. Additionally, DPS could impound your license plates and require you to forfeit your vehicle.
  • Refusing to take a test for a second time within ten years is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine. You could also face a loss of driving privileges or mandatory IID installation for one year, impounded license plates, and vehicle forfeiture.

Third-Time DWI Convictions within Ten Years

  • Any third-time DWI conviction within ten years is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and $3,000 in fines.
  • Your license will be canceled as “inimical to public safety.” You can only get it back as a limited license after enrolling in a mandatory treatment program and installing an IID.
  • You must continue using the IID for a minimum of three years, including one year while you are enrolled in treatment with a limited license and two years after completing treatment.
  • Your license plates will be impounded, and you will have to forfeit your vehicle.

Fourth and Subsequent DWI Convictions within Ten Years

  • Any fourth-time or subsequent DWI conviction within ten years is a felony, punishable by up to seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.
  • Your license will be canceled as “inimical to public safety.” You can only get it back as a limited license after enrolling in a mandatory treatment program and installing an IID.
  • You must continue using the IID for four to six years, including one year while you are enrolled in treatment with a limited license, and another three to five years after completing treatment.
  • Your license plates will be impounded, and you will have to forfeit your vehicle.

Ignition Interlock Device (IID) Installation

If you are convicted of DWI in Minnesota, you might have to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in your vehicle. This device requires you to pass a breath test before your car will start. IID installation is mandatory for first-time offenders with an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more and anyone with a second or subsequent DWI conviction. 

If you don’t install an IID on your vehicle, you’ll lose your driving privileges for one to two years. If you have three or more DWIs within ten years, you’ll need to use the IID for three to six years to keep driving. The IID lets you drive legally right away but ensures you’re sober while doing so. These devices include safety features like random retests while driving, and in Minnesota, there’s also a camera that records all tests. You’ll also need to have a service provider recalibrate the device monthly.

License Plate Impoundment and “Whiskey” Plates

For certain DWI offenses in Minnesota, the state can take away your regular license plates and require you to use special “whiskey” plates. These plate numbers start with a “W” and help police spot drivers who have a history of drinking and driving. You must use these plates for at least a year if your alcohol concentration is twice the legal limit or if you were caught driving impaired with a child in the car. They are also mandatory if you refuse to take a breath or blood test when the police ask you.

Defense Strategies for DUI/DWI Charges in Roseville and Minnesota

If you face a DWI charge in Roseville or elsewhere in Minnesota, the right legal defense can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. As a member of the National College of DUI Defense, Alec Duffy is well-positioned to handle your case intelligently, aggressively, and effectively. Here are a few defense strategies he might consider in your case, depending on the circumstances:

  • Inaccurate Breathalyzer Test: We might argue that the breathalyzer measuring your blood alcohol content was incorrectly calibrated or handled, leading to unreliable results.
  • Improper Field Sobriety Test: We could show that field sobriety tests were conducted incorrectly or that factors such as medical conditions affected your performance. Alec Duffy’s training in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) gives him an edge when looking for administration and interpretation errors.
  • Illegal Traffic Stop: We’ll look into whether the officer had a legal reason to stop you in the first place. If they didn’t, the evidence they gathered during the stop could be inadmissible.
  • Witness Testimony: Depending on the circumstances, we could ask witnesses who saw you before you drove to testify that you appeared to be sober, challenging the claim that you showed signs of impairment.

Contact a DUI/DWI Criminal Defense Lawyer Serving Roseville and Throughout Minnesota

Facing a DUI/DWI charge can be overwhelming, but remember, you don’t have to do it on your own. Reach out to Duffy Defense today for a free case review with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, and let’s tackle this challenge together.