In Minnesota, you are considered legally drunk if your blood alcohol concentration level is 0.08 or higher. The Department of Public Safety defines the limit as lower for those driving commercial vehicles at 0.04. If you are driving with a lower blood alcohol concentration but a law enforcement officer can prove that drugs or alcohol caused you to commit a driving error, you may still be convicted of DWI. Are there long-term consequences for driving while impaired?

There are administrative and criminal sanctions for the first offense of DWI. Depending on your age, these may include suspension of driving privileges, fines, jail time or the addition of an ignition interlocking device. Any first-time offender with a BAC of .016 or higher and any second-time offender is required to use the device for anywhere from one to two years. This device requires you to breathe into it before the vehicle will start to prove you are not driving while impaired.

The second offense has more serious penalties depending on the BAC, who is in the car and if you refuse a test by an officer. You may have your vehicle forfeited, your license plates impounded or one year of no driving privileges.

The third offense may include fines and jail time and your license will be canceled. You will have to have three years of an ignition interlocking device with no issues. Your vehicle will be forfeited, and your license plates impounded.

If you have four or more offenses in ten years, you could face seven years in jail or a $14,000 fine as a felony charge. Your license will then be canceled and you will have four to six years with an ignition device. Each time you are arrested your consequences may get worse and you could face increased jail time and additional fines.

This is intended for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.