What are aggravating factors for a DWI?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | criminal law, Dwi/dui | 0 comments

Getting a DWI charge in Minnesota can carry serious consequences. Certain conditions could make those consequences considerably worse.

State law identifies aggravating factors for a DWI that can lead to a harsher penalty.

Prior offenses

Under Minnesota’s statutory law about driving impairments, a previous conviction for DWI is an aggravating factor. A prior incident of driving while impaired within the past ten years raises the severity of an offense. There is a mandatory 30-day sentence which may consist of jail time, community service, or a combination of the two.

Blood alcohol concentration

Minnesota recognizes more than one tier of intoxication for DWI charges. A blood alcohol concentration of .16 or more is double the legal limit of .08. In effect, this concentration signifies that a driver was extremely impaired.

Law enforcement officers must obtain blood alcohol test results within two hours of an offense. If they collect that evidence after two hours have passed, it may be inadmissible.

Minors in the vehicle

The presence of a passenger under 16 years old is an aggravating factor for a DWI. This is always the case for defendants who are over 21 years old. However, the presence of someone under 16 is not an aggravating factor if a defendant is less than 36 months older.

If you are facing any type of charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, you need to take the matter seriously. Preparing a strong legal defense could help you defeat the charges or successfully challenge the state’s evidence involving aggravating factors.