This website is managed by Evan Carlson, a Minnesota attorney who represents people who have been charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). Its purpose is to provide people with basic information about Minnesota DWI laws. If you have been charged with DWI, you may contact Evan Carlson directly for a free consultation. This website is not intended to provide legal advice, but merely to provide people with access information relating to their DWI charges. If you have been charged with DWI, it is highly recommended that you consult an attorney immediately.
As you probably already know, it is a crime to drive drunk in Minnesota. However, a lot of Minnesotan’s have not actually read the statute for themselves. This website breaks down that statute, which is provided below, and discusses the other statutes affecting it in detail.
169A.20 DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED.
Subdivision 1.Driving while impaired crime; motor vehicle. It is a crime for any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle, as defined in section 169A.03, subdivision 15, except for motorboats in operation and off-road recreational vehicles, within this state or on any boundary water of this state when:
(1) the person is under the influence of alcohol;
(2) the person is under the influence of a controlled substance;
(3) the person is knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance that affects the nervous system, brain, or muscles of the person so as to substantially impair the person's ability to drive or operate the motor vehicle;
(4) the person is under the influence of a combination of any two or more of the elements named in clauses (1) to (3);
(5) the person's alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the motor vehicle is 0.08 or more;
(6) the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle and the person's alcohol concentration at the time, or as measured within two hours of the time, of driving, operating, or being in physical control of the commercial motor vehicle is 0.04 or more; or
(7) the person's body contains any amount of a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or II, or its metabolite, other than marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinols.
Minnesota breaks its DWI laws down into four main categories, 1st degree DWI (the most severe) through 4th degree DWI (the least severe). The degree that people fall under is in large part a function of (1) whether the accused has had prior DWI convictions and (2) whether “aggravating factors” are present.