Former Prosecutor Serving Minnesota And Wisconsin Since 1992

  1. Home
  2.  » 
  3. DWI/Drunk Driving
  4.  » DUI penalties go beyond jail and fines

DUI penalties go beyond jail and fines

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2023 | DWI/Drunk Driving

In Minnesota, when a person is arrested and charged with driving under the influence, they will undoubtedly be aware of the potential for jail time and fines. These penalties can be significant and problematic in their life financially, personally and professionally. What they might not realize is that there are other consequences for a conviction. It is imperative to know what they are when determining the preferable strategy as part of the legal defense.

Know what other problems can arise from a DUI

When a driver has failed a test to determine if they were under the influence or outright refused to submit to it as they are legally obligated to do, there are administrative penalties that will be assessed. This is in addition to the possibility of jail and fines for a conviction.

The driver’s license can be revoked. They will have a temporary license for seven days immediately upon revocation. The length of the revocation hinges on how many times the driver has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

The time for which the suspension is in effect could be reduced if the driver agrees to have an ignition interlock device placed on their vehicle. This device requires the driver to blow into the machine before the vehicle will start. It also requires them to intermittently blow into it to make sure they have not consumed any alcohol in the interim.

The license plate could be impounded if there are aggravating factors in the case. That includes certain impaired driving violations in the previous decade; a BAC of at least 0.16; a child under 16 being in the vehicle at the time if the driver was a minimum of three years their senior; or driving while their license was revoked.

This might impact others in the person’s family as the vehicle that they might co-own is subject to the license plate impoundment. The vehicle itself could be forfeited. This can happen if it is a first-degree DWI or a third DWI violation within 10 years.

It is important to fight these allegations

Avoiding the worst possible ramifications for a DUI, DWI or OWI is imperative and goes beyond limiting fines and staying out of jail. There are avenues of defense that can be explored and are effective. For example, the police need to have a justifiable reason – probable cause – to make the traffic stop in the first place. If the driver is alleged to have been weaving in and out of traffic, crossed a double line or violated another traffic law, that might be enough. Still, this can be scrutinized.

During the investigation, the officer will generally ask the driver to take part in field sobriety tests. These are not foolproof and the officer is required to adhere to specific requirements. If that was not followed, the evidence could be questionable.

The breathalyzer test is supposed to measure the driver’s blood alcohol concentration. It must be properly calibrated and the officer certified to give the test for it to be valid. This could be explored when deciding how to proceed.

From the start, the driver should be fully up to date on what they might be confronted with for a conviction and do whatever possible to combat the charges and reach a positive outcome.