DWI penalties vary throughout the state, but certain mandatory minimum penalties for repeat DWI offenders apply regardless of the county by statute:
4th Degree DWI (misdemeanor):
4th Degree DWI (first offense below .20) does not carry any mandatory minimum penalties. However, some counties impose minimum penalties on their own. For example, some metro counties (Hennepin and Dakota, among others) require an offender to complete a “one day program.” This program does not involve going to jail for one day, but it does require the individual to devote an entire day to DWI-related education and evaluations. Metro counties usually do require some community service and fines as well. Outstate counties occasionally require jail time for a misdemeanor DWI. None of these DWI penalties take into consideration the collateral consequences, such as loss of license and license plate impoundment.
3rd Degree DWI (gross misdemeanor):
When 3rd Degree DWI is repeat DWI that is a second offense (i.e., not first offense enhanced based on testing over .20, refusal, or a child in the car), mandatory minimum penalties under Minnesota Statute § 169A.275 apply: a mandatory minimum of 30 days in jail. In some counties, the Judge will waive this mandatory minimum, or convert the time to electronic home monitoring (EHM or house arrest).
For a Twin Cities DWI, the 30 days can usually be converted to electronic home monitoring . Some counties will allow the offender to convert all 30 days to home monitoring or community service. Others, like Anoka County, will allow an offender to convert some jail time to community service, but still require 10-20 days of jail time for a second offense. Some counties will permit the offender to serve the sentence on the weekend. Others will not.
Outstate counties are more likely to require 30 days of actual jail for a second offense. Again, for example Redwood County requires 30 days of jail (No EHM allowed) for a second offense. Counties in Northern Minnesota tend to be more reasonable about allowing DWI offenders to serve their time on electronic home monitoring or as community service. In Part II of this blog post tomorrow, we will discuss the DWI mandatory minimum penalties for second degree DWI and felony first degree DWI. If you or someone you know needs help with a DWI, you need to call a skilled attorney right away. An experienced DWI attorney like Max A. Keller can sometimes even get a driver sentenced BELOW the mandatory minimum, using special loopholes unknown to most defense attorneys, so call (952) 913-1421 for help NOW to preserve your freedom and your job.