Being charged with a Minnesota DWI is a difficult thing to deal with when you’re of age. When you’re caught drunk driving under the legal drinking age, it’s even more difficult to handle. The laws and consequences are slightly different for Underage DWI offenders.
Zero Tolerance in Minnesota
Minnesota has a “Zero Tolerance” or “Not a Drop” law for drivers under the age of 21. Basically it is illegal for an underage person to operate a motor vehicle with any trace of alcohol in their system—anything above a BAC level of 0.02. The 0.08 BAC limit does not apply to underage drivers. Violation of the “Not a Drop” law is a misdemeanor offense potentially punishable by:
- Confiscation of the vehicle
- Driver’s license suspension
- Requirements to complete community service
- Mandatory attendance at alcohol education classes
- High fines
- Possible jail sentences
As with a regular DWI offense, the higher the BAC level at the time of driving, the harsher the penalties that go along with the offense.
Teenagers who receive traffic violations or alcohol related violations may not receive their learner’s permits or licenses until the age of 18. This includes violations such as open bottle, underage drinking, violation of the Minnesota implied consent advisory, and DWI. In addition, Minnesota residents under the age of 18 who receive an alcohol or drug violation cannot regain their licenses until the age of 18.
Minnesota Underage DWI Lawyer
If you or someone you know has been charged with an Underage Drunk Driving violation it is supremely important that you contact a Minnesota criminal defense lawyer to develop a strategy for successfully defending your case. A Minnesota DUI lawyer can help you weave through the legal maze and, most importantly, assist you in moving on with your life after such a traumatic experience.