First DWI? Now What?

In Minnesota, driving while impaired (DWI) means driving, operating, or controlling a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you’re pulled over and arrested for driving while impaired, you might be wondering what happens next. So let’s dive into the following steps, as well as the Minnesota DWI laws, so you can best prepare.

Understanding Minnesota DWI Laws

Typically, in Minnesota, you can receive a DWI if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is higher than 0.08. Yet, it’s possible to obtain a DWI for lower levels, depending on your unique situation.

Driving while impaired can result in severe consequences. According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, a typical penalty for a first-time offense is potential jail time and the loss of your license for 30 days or up to a year.

What Happens After You Receive a DWI?

If you’re charged with a DWI, you will have your license revoked for a certain period, depending on your BAC level and history. After license revocation, you may need to attend court.

You’ll first be scheduled for an arraignment or the initial hearing after your arrest. During this hearing, you’ll be able to plead guilty or not guilty. Should you plead not guilty, you may need to attend a trial.

Many DWI cases are resolved before the court date. However, if you proceed to trial, you have the right to choose between being tried by a judge or by a jury. If you’re found guilty, the judge will explain your sentencing based on the severity of the crime. 


Consequences range from fines to several years in prison. It’s also possible to receive a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the factors involved in your case.

Ignition Interlocking Devices

If you’re arrested with a BAC of double the legal limit or above in Minnesota, you may need to use an ignition interlocking device to gain your driving privileges back. 

This device is installed in your vehicle and attached to the starter. You’ll provide a breath sample when you need to start your vehicle to ensure you’re safe.

Reach Out to the Attorneys at White & Associates in Elk River, Minnesota

If you’ve been arrested for a DWI, you should consider reaching out to an experienced attorney. The attorneys at White & Associates can help you move forward with confidence. To learn more about DWI/DUI, give us a call at 763-241-0477 or send us a message.

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