Minnesota drunk drivers who enter a guilty plea to a DWI offense, or who are convicted at trial are routinely placed on probation. The purpose of probation is to assist the offender in reintegrating into society as a law abiding citizen. For DWI offenders placed on probation, the Minnesota legislature and courts have placed a high level of importance on alcohol treatment and rehabilitation. Once placed on supervised probation, the drunk driver is confronted with any number of punitive, financial, and treatment-oriented probationary sanctions.
DWI Probationary Periods in Minnesota
A person convicted of a Minnesota DWI offense will be placed on probation for a specified period of time. The following chart illustrates the probationary periods for various Minnesota DWI violations:
While the DWI offender is on probation, they are required to satisfy specific conditions dependent on the offender, their level of chemical dependency, the seriousness of their DWI offense, and their BAC level at the time of arrest. The following is a list of common conditions of Minnesota DWI probation:
- Obtain a chemical dependency evaluation and follow the recommendations
- Have no use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs
- Submit to random testing
- Attend a MADD Victim Impact Panel
- Enroll in and complete a county-based DWI educational program
- Obtain a psychological assessment and adhere to recommendations
- Complete the requirements of long term monitoring each year during the period of probation
- Meet with probation officer as directed
- Follow all the rules and regulations of the probation department
- Do not drive without a valid license or current automobile insurance
- Have no drunk driving related offenses for the duration of your probationary period
DWI Probation Violation
Failure of a probationer to satisfy the terms and conditions of their probation could lead to a warrant for their arrest. If a violation occurs, the probation officer prepares a violation report and a request for an arrest warrant. The agent takes the violation report to the sentencing judge for the judge’s review and execution. Once the judge approves the violation, a warrant is issued.
If a warrant issues, the probationer will need to surrender to jail and appear in court to resolve the probation violation. At the probation violation hearing, the sentencing judge has wide discretion on what the appropriate sanction should be. Some sanctions are punitive (more jail), some financial (more fines), and some require the drunk driver to examine their chemical dependency issues (treatment).
Probation violation is a serious charge that can carry serious consequences. Minnesota criminal defense attorneys are trained to negotiate with judges and prosecutors to create reasonable terms of probation so you don’t have to.