No website can substitute for the advice and knowledge of an experienced attorney. However, we find many people have the same questions regarding Minnesota drunk driving laws. Below are some answers to common questions and drunk driving facts.

What is the difference between a DWI vs. DUI?

DUI is an acronym for Driving Under the Influence. DWI stands for Driving While Impaired (alcohol or drugs) or Driving While Intoxicated. The two terms are used interchangeably. In Minnesota, drivers can be charged with impaired driving (or driving under the influence) even if they do not meet the blood alcohol concentration levels for legal intoxication.

How long does a DUI stay on my driving record?

In Minnesota, a DUI stays on your driving record for life. DUI’s cannot be expunged (or erased) from your driving record. This is because the State uses any DUI within the previous 10 years to enhance any new charges.

Can I still be arrested and charged with DUI if my blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is under .08?

Yes. If the officer feels that you are exhibiting signs of being under the influence and are impaired, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI with a BAC of less than .08.

Do I have to be driving to be arrested for DUI?

Not necessarily. In Minnesota, it is illegal to drive, operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.

Will I lose my driver’s license if I am arrested and charged with a DUI?

If you have a BAC of .08 or more, you will lose your driving privileges for a period of time. The length of the revocation depends on a number of factors, including your alcohol concentration, DUI history, whether you were involved in an accident, etc. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for a limited license (work permit) to drive to and from work and school.

How will my license be affected if I live in another state?

After you receive your notice of revocation, your driving privileges will be revoked in the State of Minnesota. Even though you do not have a Minnesota driver’s license, you will be assigned a “conax” license number, which indicates to the DMV that you have a record in the State of Minnesota, but do not have a valid driver’s license. Once the conviction and revocation hit this conax record, there is a good possibility the State of Minnesota will communicate with your home state about the offense. It is possible that you will receive an additional revocation, as well as other penalties, in your home state.

How much alcohol does it take to impair driving?

Several factors come into play to determine how much alcohol you would need to consume to be defined as “impaired”. Your weight, how many drinks you have had, how many hours you have been drinking, how strong the drinks are, your gender and whether you are drinking on a full or empty stomach all have a bearing on impairment.

How do I obtain a copy of the police reports in my case?

If you are planning on retaining an attorney, one of the first things an experienced DUI attorney will do is order the police reports on your behalf. If you would like the police reports prior to making a decision about representation, you can start by contacting the police department directly. However, most departments will direct you to make the request to the appropriate prosecutor’s office. Keep in mind that police reports are not necessarily available immediately, and may take several weeks to be completed.

What is the difference between bail and bond?

According to the State of Minnesota’s court system website:

Bail is money you leave with the court as a guarantee of your future appearances. Once the case is closed, your bail is either returned to you or applied to any fine there might be.

Bond is a guarantee of your appearance offered by a bonding company. The bond is purchased by you or on your behalf from a bonding company and is not refunded or applied to any fines. If you ever fail to appear as directed, the bondsman must pay the entire bail amount to the court, but can collect on any collateral that you put up in exchange for the bond.

Important Reminder: If you fail to appear for any scheduled hearing, your bail or bond may be forfeited to the State. In other words, the State keeps the entire amount. You don’t get it back and it doesn’t go toward any fines you may owe.