Drivers who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol are generally most concerned about whether or not they will have to spend time in jail. But even if you are not sentenced to jail, the fines and penalties of a first time DUI can be severe and can have lasting and permanent consequences. Recently on our DUI forum a user asked, “If I was arrested for a Minnesota DUI in Minneapolis, Minnesota, what is the minimum penalty I will face, and is it better to fight the charges or simply plead guilty?”
What is a Minnesota DUI?
It is illegal in every state to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. Drivers arrested with a BAC at this level can be automatically arrested for drunken driving and charged with a Minnesota DUI.
Drivers with a lower BAC, however, can also be charged with a Minnesota DUI, assuming there is sufficient evidence to prove they were not able to safely operate their vehicle.
Drivers under the age of 21 can be arrested for DUI if their BAC is over 0.0%, which means the state allows for zero tolerance for under-aged drinking and driving.
Should I plead guilty to a Minnesota DUI?
Let’s review your second question first. If you are arrested and charged with a Minnesota DUI whether or not you should plead guilty and try to negotiate some sort of deal with the prosecution will depend on the evidence of the prosecution’s case and whether or not you were really intoxicated and unable to safely operate your car. It’s always best to discuss your case with a DUI lawyer before making any type of plea.
First-time DUI penalties for a Minnesota DUI
Drivers arrested for a first-time Minnesota DUI can face up to 90 days in jail, fines of $1,000, and a license suspension of up to 90 days. Drivers will also be required to install an ignition interlock device for a specified period of time.
Drivers who are stopped and arrested for a Minnesota DUI but who refuse to take the chemical test may also face fines and an automatic license suspension, which is currently a mandatory one year license revocation for the first refusal.
This administrative license suspension will be enforced even if the driver is ultimately not convicted of a DUI. Most states have imposed administrative license suspension penalties to discourage drivers from refusing to take the chemical test, although under some conditions the refusal may be the best course of action for some drivers.
Pleading to a lesser charge after Minnesota DUI
Some drivers may be able to plead down their first DWI offense to a wet reckless. This option should be discussed with a lawyer. Although it is not guaranteed, under some conditions the state may be willing to accept a lesser charge.
Before making any plea, however, it’s important to understand the full cost of a Minnesota DUI and how a DWI charge and conviction could impact your future.
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