In 2012, the Minnesota Legislature increased the length of license revocations that accompany DWI charges. A few different factors can lead to an increased revocation period. They include: prior offenses, testing .16 or higher, child in the car, and refusal. A first time offender is now subject to a one year revocation if any of the factors are present.
Along with the increased license revocation periods, the legislature also has provided more options for immediate license reinstatement. A person can get reinstated through either a limited license or ignition interlock.
A limited license, commonly referred to as a work permit, allows the holder to drive only for specific purposes and only on specified routes and during specified times. The allowed purposes can include driving to work or school and also sometimes for driving to treatment, doctor’s appointments, to AA, etc.
Eligibility for a limited license is restricted only to first time offenders that test under .16 or refuse. The first timer with a test result under .16 is subject to a 90 day revocation period. After a 15 day waiting period, the offender is eligible for the limited license. A first timer that refused testing is subject to a one year revocation and is also eligible for the limited license after the 15 day waiting period.
Drivers that don’t meet the limited license criteria outlined above must participate in the ignition interlock program in order to get back on the road. Ignition interlock is a device that is installed in the violator’s vehicle that requires an alcohol test each time the vehicle is started. The device also requires rolling alcohol tests periodically.
Violators that test .16 or higher, or that have a prior offense, are subject to the ignition interlock requirements. Those with two prior offenses within 10 years, or three priors lifetime, may participate in ignition interlock during the revocation period.
Individuals that obtain a third offense within 10 years, or a fourth offense lifetime, will have their license cancelled as inimical to public safety and must satisfy additional requirements before being allowed onto ignition interlock. Such offenders will have to undergo treatment and demonstrate abstinence. Additionally, they will be required to have a limited license for the first year of interlock.
Minnesota’s driver’s license laws are complicated. If you are facing DWI prosecution or license revocation, call the attorneys at Sieben Edmunds PLLC.
Check out our previous DWI Blog Series posts: