Drunk driving involves the act of operating and/or driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs to the degree that mental and motor skills are impaired. DWI laws also apply to recreational vehicles, such as an ATV, boat or snowmobile, and piloting an airplane. Minnesota DWI statutes contain four major categories of drunk driving crimes:
First Degree DWI
A drunk driver is guilty of first-degree DWI if they commit a DWI violation within ten years of the first three or more drunk driving incidents, or have been previously convicted of felony DWI in Minnesota.
Second Degree DWI
A drunk driver is guilty of second-degree driving while impaired if two or more aggravating factors were present when the violation was committed.
Third Degree DWI
A drunk driver is guilty of third-degree driving while impaired if one aggravating factor was present when the violation was committed.
Fourth Degree DWI
It is a crime for any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle within this state or on any boundary water in Minnesota: (1) when the person is under the influence of alcohol; (2) when the person is under the influence of a controlled substance; (3) when the person is knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the person so as to substantially impair the person’s ability to drive or operate the motor vehicle; (4) when the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is 0.08 or more; (5) when the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the person’s alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the commercial motor vehicle is 0.04 or more; or (6) when the person’s body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols. It is also a crime to refuse to submit to a breath test.
The severity of a DWI in Minnesota depends upon whether one or more aggravating factors are present at the time of the offense. These include: (1) a qualified prior impaired driving incident within the ten years immediately preceding the current offense; (2) having an alcohol concentration of 0.20 or more as measured at the time, or within two hours of the time, of the offense; or (3) having a child under the age of 16 in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender.
Try the Drink Wheel to calculate your estimated BAC: http://www.intox.com/wheel/drinkwheel.asp
If you’ve been charged with a DUI/DWI in Minnesota, you should seek the assistance of counsel. The earlier you involve an attorney, the sooner we can gather evidence, interview witnesses, and address other issues in your case. Call our law firm now for a free consultation: (218) 736-5456.