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What criminal penalties could result following a DWI?

It is nerve wracking to get pulled over by a police officer; however, it is even worse when a driver discovers that the officer suspects that he or she is under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving a charge that could result in serious penalties, especially if the driver has a past record of DWIs.

What criminal penalties could result following a DWI? There are three administration sanctions that could result following a DWI conviction is Minnesota. The first is license revocation. If it is a driver's first offense, revocation could occur for 90 days if their BAC was under .16. It goes up to 180 days if the driver was under the age of 21. If the driver's BAC was above .16, he or she will have their license revoked for 1 year. Finally, if a driver refused to submit to a breath or blood test, he or she will automatically have their license revoked for one year. It should be noted that if a driver has previous DW charges, the length of revocation increases.

The next type of administrative sanction is license plate impoundment. This means that there is a physical seizure or surrendering of a vehicle's license plate. This frequently occurs when a DWI involves and aggravating factor. This includes events such as receiving another DWI charge in a 10 year period, having a BAC of .16 or more, having a child under the age of 16 present in the vehicle during the offense with the driver being at least 3 years older or when a DWI occurs while the driver's license has already bee cancelled or revoked.

The third administrative sanction is vehicle forfeiture. This typically occurs when there is a third DWI conviction in a 10-year timeframe. However, this could occur if there are aggravating factors during a first or second DWI charge. A vehicle is subject to forfeiture if it was used in the commission of the offense the driver was convicted of or if the vehicle was used in a conduct that resulted in license revocation.

There are other situations and penalties that motorists should be aware of. This includes obtaining a limited and restricted license, having an ignition interlock device installed in a vehicle, driver's license reinstatement fees and jail and prison time associated with misdemeanor and felony DWI charges.

Drivers are often concerned about how this charge could impact his or her future. Because of that, it is important to note ways to defend your rights against such a charge. This could help reduce or dismiss the charges, helping a driver avoid possible harsh penalties.

Source:, "An Overview of Minnesota's DWI Laws," accessed June 24, 2017

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