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DUI Consequences

The Harsh Realities of DUI Penalties

Minneapolis DUI lawyer explains drunk driving consequences

Drunk driving charges, known as driving under the influence (DUI) or operating while intoxicated (OWI) in Minnesota, are serious offenses with serious consequences. An experienced DUI attorney can help you understand your rights and your options and can formulate time-tested strategies to help minimize penalties, depending on the facts in your particular situation.

At Jeff T. Ohara, Attorney at Law, PC in Minneapollis, we help people facing drunk driving charges to keep their licenses and their way of life. Minneapolis DUI lawyer Jeffrey O'Hara has the necessary skills and experience to stand by your side and advocate for your rights throughout the entire legal process.

Understanding breath test refusal penalties

Penalties could be levied early in the process. If you are a licensed Minnesota driver, you have already consented to submit to a breath test if stopped for drunk driving under the state's Implied Consent law. Refusal to take the test results in six points on your driver's record and immediate suspension of your license for one year. Points drive up your auto insurance premium, and loss of your license can present harsh logistical challenges for you and perhaps your family.

If you refuse and this is your second refusal in seven years, you lose your license for two years and receive six points, too.

Understanding first-offense penalties

Even a first offense can bring jail time and monetary punishment. If the results of your Breathalyzer® test show a blood alcohol level (BAC) of more than .08 percent, you will be charged with the criminal offense of DUI. Your arrest puts you in jail immediately from four to 24 hours, depending on the extent to which your BAC exceeded the legal limit.

If your BAC measures above .08 and below .17, and this is a first offense, DUI costs and consequences include:

  • Up to a $500 fine
  • Up to 93 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to 180 days of license suspension
  • Six points on your drivers' license

If your BAC measures above .17, and this is a first offense, DUI costs and consequences include:

  • Up to a $700 fine
  • Up to 180 days in jail
  • Up to 360 hours of community service
  • Up to one year of license suspension
  • Six points on your driver's license
  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program
  • An ignition interlock device installed in your car

If convicted of DUI, you could face a $1,000 fine for two consecutive years under Minnesota's Driver Responsibility Act, for a total of $2,000.

Understanding repeat offense penalties

If you are a repeat offender, punishments can be immediate and tough. You are designated a repeat offender if you are stopped and your record shows you have:

  • Second offense — You have received two or more alcohol-related convictions within seven years
  • Third offense — You have received three of more alcohol-related convictions within ten years
  • Third offense — You have received three or more convictions for driving while your license is suspended or revoked in seven years

The police officer who stops you confiscates the license plate of the vehicle, even if you don't own the vehicle. You receive a paper permit, allowing you to legally drive the vehicle. A new license plate cannot be issued until your case is resolved in court.

Your license may be suspended or revoked. You may be required to install and maintain an ignition interlock device. You may be required to participate in mandatory substance abuse treatment. If you cause an accident that causes serious injury or death, as a repeat offender, you will be charged with a felony.

A second offense may bring about the following consequences:

  • A fine between $200 and $1,000
  • Between five days and one year in prison
  • Revocation of your driver's license up to one year
  • Six points on your driving record
  • Between 30 and 90 days of community service
  • $1,000 annual Driver Responsibility Fee for two years ($2,000 total)
  • Possible seizure of your vehicle

If this is your third offense, you will be charged with a felony and could face the following consequences:

  • A fine between $500 and $5,000
  • Imprisonment between one year and five years or probation with imprisonment between 30 days and one year plus community service between 60 days and 180 days
  • Forfeiture of the vehicle

Get the help you need to stay on the road. Contact us now for your free initial consultation.

Reach out to Jeff T. Ohara, Attorney at Law, PC in Minneapolis and get the experienced assistance you need for powerful defense. Call us at (612) 605-6020 or fill out our online contact form. We pick up the phone 24/7 for emergency situations.