DWI In Minnesota — Implied Consent Hearing

Serving Clients Throughout Minnesota From Offices In Moorhead And Minneapolis

Minnesota has, like many states, "implied consent" laws, which refers to the implicit agreement that drivers make by driving on Minnesota roads – to consent to take a chemical test to determine the presence of alcohol or controlled substances. Minn. Stat. § 169A.51.

Upon your arrest for DWI, it is likely that the arresting officer asked you to submit to a chemical test, usually a breath test. You are required to submit to the breath test if the officer has probable cause to believe you are intoxicated and one of the following conditions exist:

  • The officer lawfully arrests you for DWI.
  • You were involved in a collision involving property damage, injury, or death.
  • You refused to take a preliminary breath test (PBT).
  • A PBT indicated you had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more.

When a breath test is required, the police officer must read an advisory statement that informs you that Minnesota law requires a driver to take a test to determine whether the person is under the influence of alcohol. Refusal to submit to the breath test is a crime, and that you have the right to consult with an attorney, but this right is limited to the extent that it cannot unreasonably delay administration of the test.

A police officer must first obtain a search warrant if a blood or urine test is requested. At the time a blood or urine test is directed pursuant to a search warrant, you must be informed that refusal to submit to the test is a crime.

If you submitted to a breath test and your results were greater than or equal to 0.08, (0.04 or more for an individual driving, operating, or in physical control of a commercial motor vehicle), you were likely issued a Notice of Revocation and a seven-day temporary license. If you submitted to a blood test, the sample of blood was sent to the state laboratory for testing and you have been or will be served with a copy of the Notice of Revocation once the results of the blood test have been determined.

You only have 60 days from the date upon which the Notice of Revocation form is served upon you or deemed received (three days after mailing to the last known address) to petition for judicial review on the state's attempted suspension or revocation of your Minnesota driving privileges. If timely requested and properly filed, a hearing must be held by the district court within 60 days. If you do not request a hearing within that time frame, you will have waived your right to a hearing to challenge the suspension or revocation of your driving privileges.

If the district court upholds your license revocation after the implied consent hearing, you have the opportunity to appeal that decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals. If you appeal the district court's decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals and lose the appeal, you have the opportunity to then petition for review to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

Reinstatement of your driving privileges is not automatic. All alcohol-related revocations of a driver's license require a $680 reinstatement fee, DWI knowledge test, a driver's license application with fees, and a chemical assessment.

In 2011, Minnesota enacted laws that increase penalties and promote participation in the ignition interlock program for most repeated offenders. An ignition interlock is a breath-testing device attached to the ignition system of your vehicle. When you start your car, the engine will not turn over and start until you have provided a breath sample to the alcohol testing unit that is below .02 Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC). If a test sample is below .02, the vehicle will start. If the test sample is above .02, the vehicle will not start. Once the vehicle is started, the ignition interlock will request that the driver randomly take alcohol tests to show they are not drinking alcohol.

If you submitted to a chemical test and the test result was at least 0.08 percent, and the state is successful in revoking your driver's license or privileges, you face the following revocation time period based upon the number of offenses you have on your record:

DWI LICENSE CONSEQUENCES

FIRST OFFENSE

Alcohol Concentration Level

Driver's License Administrative Sanctions

Under 0.16

  • 90 days of no driving privileges; driver has choice of the following:
  1. 15 days of no driving privileges and a limited license for remaining 90-day period
  2. Full driving privileges for 90-day period with use of ignition interlock
  • 90 days is reduced to 30 days with a guilty plea to the DWI

Under 0.16 and a child in vehicle

  • 90 days of no driving privileges; driver has choice of the following:
  1. 15 days of no driving privileges and a limited license for remaining 90-day period
  2. Full driving privileges for 90-day period with use of ignition interlock

90 days is reduced to 30 days with a guilty plea to the DWI

  • License plates impounded

0.16 or over and/or a child in vehicle

  • One year of no driving privileges OR one year of an ignition interlock restricted driver's license
  • License plates impounded
  • Vehicle forfeited (only if both)

Refused Test

  • One year of no driving privileges
  1. 15 days of no driving privileges and a limited license for remaining 90-day period
  2. Full driving privileges for 90-day period with use of ignition interlock.

SECOND OFFENSE

Alcohol Concentration Level

Driver's License Administrative Sanctions

Under 0.16

  • One year of no driving privileges OR one year of an ignition interlock restricted driver's license
  • License plates impounded

0.16 or over

  • Two years of no driving privileges OR two years of an ignition interlock restricted driver's license

  • License plates impounded
  • Vehicle forfeited

Child in vehicle and any alcohol concentration level

  • Depending on alcohol concentration level and see above two categories
  • License plates impounded
  • Vehicle forfeited

Refused Test

  • One year of no driving privileges OR one year of Ignition Interlock
  • License plates impounded
  • Vehicle forfeited

THIRD OFFENSE

Alcohol Concentration Level

Driver's License Administrative Sanctions

Any level and/or Refused Test

  • License cancelled as "inimical to public safety"
  • Three years of no detected use of alcohol and/or drugs for removal of ignition interlock device

  • One year of a limited license with an ignition interlock restriction upon enrollment in treatment
  • Two years of an ignition interlock restricted driver's license upon completion of treatment

  • License plates impounded
  • Vehicle forfeited

FOURTH OR MORE OFFENSES

Alcohol Concentration Level

Driver's License Administrative Sanctions

Any level and/or Refused Test

  • License cancelled as "inimical to public safety"
  • Four to six years of no detected use of alcohol and/or drugs for removal of ignition interlock device

  • One year of a limited license with an ignition interlock restriction upon enrollment in treatment
  • Three to five years of an ignition interlock restricted driver's license upon completion of treatment

  • License plates impounded
  • Vehicle forfeited

Minnesota DWI law is complex, and the facts of each case are always different. If you have been arrested for DWI, talk with an experienced DWI attorney.

Criminal Component

Attorneys Specializing In Minnesota DWI Cases:


Matthew Dearth, Kenneth J. Kohler, Jade M. Rosenfeldt and Drew Hushka