Did you know that Minnesota has special license plates for individuals who have been convicted of drunk driving? They aren’t handed out to just anyone that earns a DUI, but for certain drunk driving arrests, you may be required to obtain one of these special license plates if you hope to continue driving.
These “drunk driving plates” aren’t designed to shame the driver, but the do help to let law enforcement know at a glance that the driver has previously been convicted of driving under the influence. However, it’s worth noting that having a whiskey plate on your vehicle is not enough evidence in and of itself to warrant a traffic stop. An officer must witness some specific driving infraction in order to conduct a traffic stop. The plate itself doesn’t give the officer enough reasonable suspicion to stop the driver to see if they are under the influence again.
What Do Whiskey Plates Look Like?
Whiskey plates look a little different than a standard Minnesota license plate, which has some light blue color and a background that showcases a lake and some trees.The whiskey plates are much more plain, with a simple white background and lettering in blue or black.
However, the biggest distinction between the plates is that whiskey plates always start with the letter “W,” which is likely how they came to be called whiskey plates. You can see a example of a whiskey plate in the picture above.
Do All DUIs Result In Whiskey Plates?
As we touched on in the introduction, not all DUIs will result in a person being forced to get whiskey plates. You’ll typically only need to register for whiskey plates if you are convicted with a DUI that involves any of the following:
- A BAC over 0.16 (double the legal limit).
- Two BAC collection refusals within 10 years.
- There was a child 16 years or younger in the vehicle at the time of your arrest.
- You were already driving on a cancelled, suspended or revoked license.
It’s also worth noting that you won’t just be able to hop in a different car and drive to get around the need to have whiskey plates on your vehicle. Any vehicle that you intend on driving or have part or full ownership of will need to have whiskey plates. Oftentimes this can cause issues with spouses if both family vehicles need to be equipped with whiskey plates, which again speaks to the importance of contesting your DUI at the outset with the help of a lawyer.
In most instances, whiskey plates will need to remain in place for at least one year before a driver can apply for a standard license plate. If you’d like to try and avoid whiskey plates altogether, reach out to Avery and the team at Appelman Law Firm today at (952) 224-2277.