Most first offense Driving While Intoxicated charges in Minnesota are classified as a misdemeanor offense, meaning that along with potential administrative penalties, an individual can face a fine up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. However, first offense DWIs can be upgraded if aggravating factors are present. We go into more detail about aggravating factors on this page, but the most common aggravating factor for DWIs is having a blood alcohol concentration over 0.16, or at least twice the legal limit.
So if you find yourself facing upgraded DWI charges because your BAC was above 0.16, what punishments are on the table and how can you expect your case to play out? In today’s blog, we take a closer look at DWIs in Minnesota where the driver has a BAC over 0.16.
Upgraded DWI Charges
As we mentioned in the introduction, if your BAC is above 0.16, your first offense DWI charge will likely be upgraded from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor offense. Here’s a look at how that affects your potential penalties:
- Up to 90 days in jail becomes up to a year in jail.
- Fine up to $1,000 becomes a fine up to $3,000.
- Limited license for 90 days becomes either no driving for one year or required ignition interlock for one year.
There is also the likelihood that first-time offenders with a BAC over 0.16 will have their license pates impounded. In order to be able to drive, they may need to obtain special temporary plates, commonly referred to as “whiskey plates.” These special plates identify that the driver or vehicle owner has a previous DWI on their record, and while that in and of itself is not enough for police to pull you over and see if you are intoxicated, the license plate may certainly catch the attention of law enforcement so that they watch closely for any driving infractions that would warrant a traffic stop. In other words, you want to avoid needing to have these plates installed on your vehicle if at all possible.
And while that may seem like a daunting task, especially if you have an extremely high BAC at the time of your arrest, it’s something that Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm work to do for their clients each and every day. Even if we can’t get the charges completely dropped, we may be able to get them reduced or negotiate at sentencing to avoid the worst case scenario. This can save you thousands of dollars and a number of headaches down the road, so don’t just assume all is lost if you are arrested and the evidence seems stacked against you.
We’ve helped countless clients who have faced steep odds, and the vast majority have received a better outcome than had they attempted a defense on their own. Don’t just plead guilty and ask for leniency. Sync up with a professional and let us put together a strong case to help avoid the worse case outcomes. For more information on how we can do that, or to talk about the basics of your case with an attorney, pick up the phone and give us a call at (952) 224-2277 to talk about our free case review options.