DUI FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions about Minnesota DUI

Answers from a reliable DUI/DWI attorney in Brainerd, MN

Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) issues are complicated, particularly in Minnesota where recreational vehicle drivers are subject to the same stringent laws as car drivers. If you or someone in your family is facing a DUI charge, you need information and answers to your most immediate questions. I'm happy to discuss these and any other issues specific to your situation.

  • Will I face penalties if this is my first DUI?
  • What happens if I refuse a chemical test?
  • What is a B-Card restricted license?
  • Are there special considerations and penalties for underage drinkers arrested for DWI?
  • How long does DWI stay on my Minnesota driving record?
  • What makes DWI a felony?

Get the help you need from Brainerd DUI attorney Dennis M. Lothspeich

If you are facing DUI charges, I can help. I accept collect calls from jails and correctional facilities in Crow Wing and nearby counties and can arrange an immediate visit with you onsite. Call me, attorney Dennis M. Lothspeich, at 218.825.0861 for a free initial consultation, or contact the law office of Dennis M. Lothspeich, P.A. online. I charge a reasonable flat fee, which is set up front. In some cases, my fee can be comfortably spread out into monthly payments during the duration of your case. My office is conveniently located across from the Crow Wing County Court House. I am happy to schedule an evening or weekend appointment if needed.

Will I face penalties if this is my first DUI?

Minnesota has enacted strict laws and penalties for all DUI and DWI offenders. A first-time conviction is a fourth-degree DWI, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Test refusal or any aggravating factors may incur further penalties including license suspension for up to one year.

What happens if I refuse a chemical test?

Minnesota's implied consent law means that you give your consent to chemical tests when you operate a motor vehicle in the state. It is a crime to refuse to submit to a chemical test requested by a police officer. If you refuse, you will automatically have your driver's license revoked. The implied consent law also applies to recreational vehicles, boats, snowmobiles and ATVs.

What is a B-Card restricted license?

Under Department of Public Safety rules, a person whose driver's license has been cancelled for a third impaired driving violation within 10 years (or fourth in a lifetime), is eligible only for a restricted license, commonly called a B-Card. To be eligible for a B-Card, the driver must successfully complete treatment and rehabilitation and sign a sworn abstinence statement agreeing to never again consume alcohol or any controlled substance (not even in a religious service, in medication or in any other manner or amount, irrespective of whether the act involves driving). Any violation of this abstinence restriction results in immediate cancellation of the driver's license even if the violation did not involve a motor vehicle.

Are there special considerations and penalties for underage drinkers arrested for DWI?

Minnesota DWI laws apply equally to drivers of all ages. But drivers aged 16 and 17 years old who violate DWI laws fall under the jurisdiction of the adult court, not the juvenile court. These drivers are subject to the full range of adult penalties and consequences.

How long does a DWI stay on my Minnesota driving record?

Under current Minnesota law, DWI convictions and implied consent license actions are kept on a person's official driving record permanently. The no alcohol restriction of a B-Card also remains in effect on your driver's license permanently.

What makes a DWI a felony?

A felony is any crime for which a prison sentence of more than one year may be imposed. Under Minnesota's felony DWI law, a first-degree DWI conviction qualifies as a felony. A first-degree DWI can be charged for a fourth offense within 10 years or for any offense where the driver has had a prior felony alcohol-related traffic offense. People sentenced to prison for felony DWI are not eligible for early release unless they successfully complete a chemical dependency treatment program while incarcerated. Upon release, a felony DWI offender is placed on conditional release for five years.