It’s not a stretch to say that a couple of drinks can change the rest of your life. If you or a loved one is facing charges of driving under the influence (DUI) in Minnesota, it is in your best interest to understand your rights as well as your options for protecting your freedom, your finances, and your reputation.
At Kelm & Reuter, P.A., we can answer your questions about DUI and make sure you have the information you need to make crucial decisions about your next steps. We’ll start by providing the answers to some of the most commonly asked DUI questions.
What are the consequences of a DUI conviction? A DUI conviction can result in jail time, heavy fines, increased insurance rates (if you can get insurance at all) and collateral damage such as the loss of your driving privileges or your job. It’s not hyperbole to say that a DUI conviction can change your life for the worse.
What is the legal limit? A driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher can result in DUI charges. A lower BAC could also result in charges if there is accompanying behavior (swerving, reckless driving, etc.) that indicates a driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What is aggravated DUI? Aggravating factors such as a BAC over .20 or a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle can result in aggravated DUI charges, a gross misdemeanor. Without aggravating factors, a DUI offense is a misdemeanor.
This is my second DUI. Will I face increased penalties? A DUI offense within 10 years of a previous offense is also an aggravating factor, resulting in gross misdemeanor charges.
What is felony DUI? Felony DUI occurs when a driver has all three aggravating factors (BAC at or above .20, child under age 16 in the car, prior DUI offenses within 10 years). Penalties for felony DUI include up to seven years in prison and/or $14,000 fine. This is in addition to legal fees and other associated costs.
Will I be able to drive? You may be able to drive, but it will be in conjunction with the installation of an ignition interlock device on your vehicle. If you have prior DUIs, a conviction may result in the cancellation of your driver’s license. The best way to protect against criminal charges and the civil consequences of DUI is to make sure you have an experienced DUI defense attorney on your side.