Penalties for first offenses of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) often vary from one state to the next. In some states, a first offense is only considered a civil infraction while other states see the charge as a serious criminal matter. First DUI or DWI offenders will have punishments presented to them either by mandatory law or by a judge’s overall ruling. Punishments will often vary in severity from one state to the next and may include licenses suspension, jail time, and fines for a DUI in Minnesota.
In the state of Minnesota, a first DUI or DWI offense carries a penalty of the offender having his or her license suspended or revoked for a period of either 90 days, 180 days, or 1 year. It is also required that the offender use an ignition interlock device when operating a vehicle after the suspension has ended. Although mandatory alcohol education classes and alcohol abuse assessment/treatment is not a penalty for a first offense, they will be enforced on the individual’s third DUI or DWI driving charge.
First DUI Offense Penalties for Underage Individuals
Although drivers under the age of 21 only account for 10 percent of the total licensed drivers in the country, they are accountable for almost 17 percent of alcohol related fatal car accidents. Underage DUI and DWI charges are a very serious matter, and the penalties for these offenses will also vary from one state to the next. In general, punishments for Underage DUI or DWI can include license suspension, mandatory alcohol education classes, community service, fines, and possible jail time.
For the state of Minnesota, a first Underage DUI or DWI offense will be charged if the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content, or BAC, is below .08 percent. The penalty for this offense consists of a license suspension of 30 days. If the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content is above .08 percent, he or she will be subject to the full penalties that a DUI or DWI charge carries. These higher or stricter penalties include up to 90 days in prison, having the license suspended for up to 90 days, as well as a fine that can reach up to $1,000.
If the same offender is charged with a second offense within 10 years of his or her first Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated charge, there are more serious penalties. A second DUI or DWI charge with a BAC below .08 percent will carry a punishment of a license suspension of 180 days. If the offender has a BAC of above .08 percent, the penalties will include 30 to 90 days in prison, license suspension of either 180 days or 360 days if another minor is present in the vehicle as well as a $3,000 fine.
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Taryn J. White is a legal research specialist and DUI law news reporter. Her current accomplishments include helping those facing any driving under the influence arrest charges, get free online assistance in learning how to fight a DUI case for the best possible outcome.