Understanding The Charges And Consequences Of Second-Degree DWI

DWI (driving while intoxicated) refers to the crime as defined by Minnesota Statute 169A.20 of operating a vehicle (including motorboats, ATVs, quads and snowmobiles) while under the influence of alcohol or another controlled substance.

In Minnesota, a second-degree gross misdemeanor DWI is incurred under the following circumstances:

A. The driver is found to be operating the vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
B. The driver had incurred two or more DWI infractions in the preceding 10 years.
C. The driver's BAC (blood alcohol content) is found to be .20 or higher.
D. The driver does not consent to blood or breath testing.
E. The driver is over the age of 19 years, and there was a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle.

A charge of second-degree DWI is unavoidable if conditions A and B are present. Conditions C, D and E are aggravating factors that impact the severity of the punishment imposed by the court. Whether or not aggravating factors are present, a conviction for second-degree DWI has long-term financial and practical impacts on an individual's life.

What Are The Consequences Of A Second-Degree DWI Conviction?

There is no designated minimum sentence for a first-time second-degree DWI conviction. The presence of aggravating factors C to E above and other circumstances of the case ultimately determine what sentence the prosecutor requests, and what the court imposes.

If the offending driver has had two or more DWI convictions in the preceding decade, only the most extraordinary mitigating circumstances will allow them to avoid a jail sentence of 90 days. The court may allow a part of this sentence to be served from home with the use of an electronic monitoring device. This option is usually exercised in conjunction with a substance monitoring program.

If the offending driver has had a single DWI conviction in the preceding 10 years, it is highly likely that the court will impose a jail sentence of 30 days. Forty-eight hours of this must be served in custody and the driver may be permitted to serve the remainder from home with the use of an electronic monitoring device.

Besides these legal repercussions, a second-degree DWI will also result in elevated life and vehicle insurance rates. Revocation of the individual's driver's license and license plate registration are common. The vehicle being operated at the time of the offense may be impounded, even if it is not the property of the offending driver.

Fight Charges With Experienced Defense

Attorney William Mauzy has won more than 100 cases at trial. Put his experience to work on your DWI charges. Call our office in Minneapolis at 612-444-9466. You can also send us an email to request a confidential free case consultation with a lawyer.