Whether you are out at a bar or at a friend or family member’s home, there is no reason for you to ever get behind the wheel while intoxicated. St. Paul lawmakers and citizens are highly opposed to any and all drunk driving, and just one DWI can lead to a license suspension as well as a large fine and jail time.
All drivers need to be aware of what it means to be driving while intoxicated so learn about Minnesota’s laws before getting behind the wheel. Here is what you need to know.
In Minnesota, as in all other states, the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood is determined by their blood alcohol content (BAC). When an officer administers a breathalyzer test, he or she is checking to see just how intoxicated a driver really is.
So how high does a BAC have to be for a driver to be considered drunk in St. Paul?
Ages 21 and over . . . . . . . . . . 0.08% BAC
Ages 20 and younger . . . . . . . 0.00% BAC
There is no tolerance in Minnesota for any driver under the age of 21 who is caught drinking and driving, regardless of how little alcohol is in the driver’s system.
Remember, one alcoholic drink is considered to be:
A person’s height, weight and gender will help determine how fast he or she becomes intoxicated. Smaller people tend to become drunk on smaller amounts of alcohol, and women usually become drunk faster than men. However, every person is different and you should err on the side of caution when deciding to drive after having a drink.
The penalties that come with DWIs start high and only go up. Here is what you can expect from your first four offenses:
Minnesota also has a lookback period of 10 years. This means that a DWI is relevant for sentencing for 10 years. If you receive two DWIs more than 10 years apart, each DWI will be treated as a first offense.
Minnesota has what is known as implied consent law. If you are pulled over and refuse to take a chemical test, then you will automatically have your license suspended and be ordered to pay a fine.
For each offense, you will automatically face one full year with a revoked license, which is much more serious than a suspended license.
Just one DWI conviction can be life changing. Not having a license can make it harder to hold down a job or get to school on time, and for those looking for employment, a DWI on record makes a candidate’s application stand out in the wrong way. If you are facing DWI charges, call Betts Legal Services for a free consultation at 651-748-9373.