A DUI offense is always a serious thing to face, but it is even more so when you have been charged multiple times before. It is likely that you are facing more severe penalties than with your first offenses, and prosecutors will often fight hard to see a conviction and significant penalties for repeat offenders. It is crucial that you properly defend your third-time DUI in Minnesota with the help of a skilled attorney.
Our team at BK Law Group could assist you with building a defense and potentially reducing the impact that this case has on your life. Contact us to learn more.
DWI Laws in Minnesota
Under Minnesota Statute § 169A.20, a driving under the influence (DUI) charge is actually called a driving while intoxicated (DWI) charge. This is the name of the charge that will appear on all official paperwork. A person may face this charge if they were impaired by drugs or alcohol while driving a motor vehicle or while in physical control of it.
A person may be considered per se intoxicated if their breath test reveals a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. This means that the BAC alone proves that a person was intoxicated, without additional evidence required. The same may be true for any amount of a Schedule I or II drug found in their system, except for marijuana.
Criminal Penalties for a Third-Offense DUI
Criminal penalties are those imposed by the court after a DWI conviction. A third DWI within a ten-year period is considered a gross misdemeanor. The maximum penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000. The judge is legally required to impose at least a 90-day jail sentence, which can be served as imprisonment, intensive supervision, or a combination of the two at the discretion of the judge.
With a third DUI, the offender is required to stay in jail until their first court appearance. They must also agree to refrain from alcohol consumption and submit to electronic alcohol monitoring.
Administrative Sanctions for a Third-Time DUI
The administrative penalties that a driver may face for a third-offense DUI in Minnesota can be incredibly serious. These are imposed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety—not the court. These may happen both before and after a conviction, meaning a driver may still be in the court proceedings when they face administrative sanctions.
A third DUI charge within a ten-year period could include administrative penalties such as:
- License Cancellation: The driver’s license is cancelled for three years. To drive during this cancellation period, the driver must utilize an ignition interlock device. The same is true when they want to reinstate their license.
- Plate Impoundment: A driver must surrender their plates to all vehicles registered in their name—not just the vehicle they were driving during the alleged offense. To drive again, they must use special plates often called “whiskey plates.”
- Forfeiture: When a person is arrested for a third DWI, the officer may seize the driver’s vehicle. The prosecutor usually has sixty days to send notice of the forfeiture to the vehicle owner.
Because the administrative and criminal penalties associated with a third-time DUI can be so steep, it is essential that those facing these charges contact a Minnesota attorney as soon as possible after their arrest. A lawyer could get to work gathering evidence for a defense and working to get charges reduced or even dropped.
Reach Out to a Minnesota Third-Time DUI Attorney
Your case deserves competent representation from a team that knows how to defend your rights. A third-time DUI in Minnesota can carry extremely serious penalties. In addition to potential jail time, the loss of your license can affect your daily life and your ability to work.
If you are facing charges for a repeat DUI, we are here to help. Call today to set up a free consultation with a dedicated attorney at BK Law Group.