Minnesota DWI law requires a driver convicted of a third DWI within a 10 year period to submit to long term monitoring for a set probationary period.
Long Term Monitoring
Long term monitoring is available in a number of ways, depending on the Minnesota county and their resources. Examples of long term monitoring programs include:
- An alcohol monitoring system which requires the person to blow into a breath testing machine three times a day at scheduled times
- A SCRAM bracelet: an ankle bracelet that vibrates repeatedly throughout the day while measuring blood alcohol concentration. This must be brought to a probation department for downloading, usually once a week
- Random urinalysis
- Direct face-to-face meetings with probation officers
DWI violators sentenced to long term monitoring must participate in an electronic alcohol monitoring program for a minimum of 30 consecutive days during each year of probation. Most Minnesota DWI courts order long term monitoring in addition to fines, jail time, and chemical dependency evaluations, and ask the offender’s probation officer to verify compliance with the long term monitoring program.
Long term monitoring goes hand-in-hand with stayed jail time. According to Minnestota DWI law, “stayed” jail time is imposed jail time that has been suspended or temporarily delayed. If the person on probation adheres to the terms and conditions of their probation, they need not serve (or execute) the stayed jail time. If, however, the person violates the terms of their probation, a judge may sentence them to serve all or part of the stayed jail sentence. Nearly every Minnesota DWI sentence has a portion of the imposed jail sentence stayed for the length of their probationary term.
Minnesota DWI Penalty Assessment
Minnesota DWI law allows a court to impose a penalty assessment on a Minnesota DWI violator in addition to any other charges or penalties. DWI offenders with a BAC level of 0.16 or higher at the time of arrest may be issued a penalty assessment of up to $1,000.
The funds generated from the penalty assessment are distributed to the arresting agency and are used for enforcement, training, and educational activities related to Minnesota DWI detection and deterrence. If the arresting agency is a state agency (i.e. Minnesota State Patrol) the penalty assessment funds can be entered into the state treasury and credited to the general fund. City attorneys understand that the money generated from penalty assessments goes directly to the police department they represent.
As such, city attorneys will try to convince courts to order very high penalty assessments.
Experienced DWI attorneys, on the other hand, can use their legal knowledge and connections to help keep these penalty assessment fees low.