Minnesota DUI Laws, Limits, and Penalties

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The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) oversees the administrative penalties for DUI/DWI offenses and other drug-related offenses. A DUI/DWI conviction will suspend your driving privileges. Repeat offenders will likely have their Minnesota driver’s license revoked.

Along with a suspension, fines, jail time, and drug and alcohol courses can become mandatory.

Minnesota DUI Laws & BAC Test

The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) test or breathalyzer is one of three tests you will take if you were stopped for suspicion of a DUI/DWI. The test will determine the amount of alcohol in your blood. The result will be in percent. It will vary for adults, minors, or commercial drivers.

In Minnesota, you face a license suspension if you are caught operating a motor vehicle over the legal limit. A revocation or cancelation is more likely if you are in an accident because of alcohol or drugs.

When you take the BAC test and your alcohol concentration is above:

  • 0.08% for adults (21 years old and over)
  • 0.02% for minors (under 21 years old)
  • 0.04% for commercial drivers

You are above the legal limit, and you will get a citation to appear in court. Also, OTS will impound your car unless you have someone at the moment to drive it at the time.  If you receive a conviction, your license gets suspended for some time.

Refusing the BAC test will automatically suspend your driving privileges for one year. You will also pay more fines and must install an ignition interlock device (IID).

Minnesota DUI Laws & Penalties

Minnesota DUI Laws will impose both administrative and criminal penalties to anyone with a DUI/DWI conviction. The administrative penalty associated with the suspension time and the criminal penalties are fines and imprisonment time.

OTS Administrative Penalties

Administrative penalties for a first-time offender is not as harsh for repeat offenders. However, the penalties are still enough that it will help prevent you from committing the same violation. Here are the penalties imposed on first-time offenders if:

BAC under 0.16%

  • License suspension of 90 days
    • No driving privilege for 15 days and limited driving for the remaining 90 days


  • Full driving privileges for 90 days with an IID installation

BAC over 0.16%

  • License suspension for up to 1 year, which can be:
    • 1-year license suspension


  • 1 year of restrictive driving with an IID

OTS Criminal Penalties

If being charged with criminal penalties, your blood alcohol percentage will be over the 0.08% legal limit and below 0.16%. The consequences will be more severe and include administrative penalties.

BAC under 0.16%

  • Charge with a misdemeanor
  • Possibly imprison for up to 90 days
  • $1,000 fine

BAC over 0.16%

  • Charge with a gross misdemeanor
  • Imprison for up to 1 year
  • $3,000 fine

Refusing the BAC Test

  • Charge with a gross misdemeanor
  • Imprison for up to 1 year
  • $3,000 fine

Underage Drivers

BAC less than 0.08%

  • Fine $700 – $3,000
  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • Loss of driving privileges

Reinstating Minnesota Driver’s License

After completing all the requirements, you can reinstate your Minnesota driver’s license. To get it back, you must:

  • Pay a $680 reinstatement fee
  • Pass a DWI knowledge test
  • Complete a driver’s license application and pay the fees
  • Complete a chemical health assessment program


Being charged with DWI in Minnesota can significantly affect your driving privileges, as well as fines and possible jail time. It is important to understand the penalties you face and the options available for reinstatement of your driver’s license. Knowing all the facts will make it easier to navigate through the process.

Hopefully, this article has helped clarify some of your questions about Minnesota DWI and restoring your driver’s license. The most important thing is always to drive safely and obey the laws of the road. Good luck!