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What to Expect After a DWI Arrest in Minnesota

When Is a Driver Arrested for DWI Released?

On the night / day of your DWI, someone who has been arrested for DWI will typically be processed and then released to a sober person, so long as it’s your first DWI offense and your BAC test result was under .16.  If your BAC test result is over .16 when you were arrested, or if this is your second or third DWI arrest within the last ten years,  you will likely be held in jail and brought before a judge within a day or two.

How Long Will I Lose My License?

There are four different scenarios for how long you will lose your license:

  1. If this is your first DWI charge, you are over 21, your BAC test result was under .16, and you have no aggravating factors (such as a child in the car), your license will be revoked for 90 day
  2. If this is your first DWI arrest and your BAC test result was .16 or above, or you refused to take the breath test at the police station, your license will be revoked for 1 year.
  3. If you have had a prior impaired driving conviction within the last 10 years, and your BAC test result was .16 or above, or you refused the test, your license will be revoked for 2 years.
  4. If you have had four or more convictions, or you are otherwise considered a threat to public safety, your license can be canceled indefinitely.

What About Going to Work or School?  Options for Continuing to Drive

There are basically two options for someone convicted of a DWI to be able to get back behind the wheel.

  • Restricted license or “work permit.” This permit only allows you to drive to very specific places; work, school, AA meetings or treatment and that’s about it.  Restricted licenses in Minnesota can be difficult to obtain, especially because of the availability of the second option…
  • Ignition Interlock.  Commonly referred to as the “blow-and-go,” this is a device that is installed in your car that requires a breath test to start the car.  The service requires both an installation and monthly maintenance fee.  However, you can drive without restrictions, provided you pass the required breath test, once the ignition Interlock system is installed.

Effects on Insurance Premium

You will very likely face higher insurance premiums after being convicted of a DWI.  The timing of this can be fairly unpredictable, especially if you pay for your auto-insurance on a 6 month renewal as many drivers do.  You may want to shop around for insurance after a DWI conviction as there is a fairly wide range of how much a DWI on your record will affect your rates from company to company.

Costs of Ignition Interlock System

While using an ignition interlock system will allow you to get back to driving sooner, there are costs involved.  The installation of the system typically costs about $150 and the monthly monitoring can range from $60 to $150 per month, depending on the vendor.

Talk to a Lawyer For Free

If you have been arrested for a DWI in Minnesota, it can be hard to know how to take the first step.  What’s important to remember is that just because you were drinking and drove a car does not automatically mean you are guilty. 

Every case is unique, which is why we offer a free initial consultation to review how Minnesota law applies to your situation and your options for moving forward.

We offer free consultations for all criminal defense cases.  We’re licensed in both state and federal courts in Minnesota and North Dakota.  

Give us a call to schedule your free case review.

Author Photo John T. Arechigo, Esq.

Attorney John Arechigo has a passion for criminal defense in St. Paul, MN. John received his J.D., from Hamline University School of Law and also carries a Bachelor of Arts from, The University of Minnesota. John was named Attorney of the Year for 2019 by Minnesota Lawyer. Additionally, John was also named as a 2019 Rising Star and was selected to Minnesota Super Lawyers in 2021. He devotes nearly 100% of his practice to defending individuals charged with a crime.

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