Effective July 1, 2011, new legislation passed by Governor Tim Pawlenty strengthens Minnesota DWI laws. In Minnesota there are certain aggravating factors which enhance the seriousness of a DWI charge. Those aggravating factors are: a prior alcohol related license revocation within the last ten years, a prior DWI conviction within the last ten years, an alcohol-concentration of .20 or more, and a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle. A chemical test refusal is an additional charge to the DWI which is a gross misdemeanor.
Governor Pawlenty’s new legislation affects DWI offenders with certain aggravating factors. Currently Minnesota law states that a first time DWI offender with an alcohol-concentration of .20 or more is charged with a gross misdemeanor and loses their license for 180 days. The new legislation however, lowers the alcohol concentration to .16 or more which is twice the legal limit (.08). Moreover, the license revocation period is extended to one year. The same is true for a second time DWI offender regardless of their alcohol-concentration, their license will be revoked for one year as opposed to 180 days.
Furthermore, with the new legislation a DWI offender that refuses to submit to a chemical test will lose their license for a period of two years as opposed to the current penalty of one year. The two year revocation period also applies to a second time DWI offender with an alcohol concentration of .16 or more. A person charged with their third DWI in ten years will lose their license for three years which is a leap from the current penalty of a one year cancellation of the driver’s license.
Minnesota DWI penalties are harsh and are only going to get more severe. If convicted, a DWI offender could face large fines and possibly jail time. For over 10 years Minnesota law makers have successfully fought to strengthen the penalties for DWI offenders. It goes without saying that a DWI charge is something that should be taken seriously and should be handled by consulting with an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney. Call the Attorneys at Kans Law Firm, LLC at (952) 835-6314.