A serious looking police officer standing in front of his patrol car. Reasons for license suspension

Top Ten Reasons for License Suspension in Minnesota

The top reasons for license suspension in Minnesota include driving under the influence of alcohol, repeated traffic violations, and failure to appear in court or pay fines. Failure to pay child support, criminal convictions and felonies, medical conditions/disabilities, and drag racing can also lead to license suspension. The suspension takes away your driving privileges, preventing you from driving legally.

A serious looking police officer standing in front of his patrol car. Reasons for license suspension

You could face license suspension and fines if you get caught driving without insurance in Minnesota. An underinsured or uninsured motorist violation can also cause a driver’s license suspension. These violations stem from driving without underinsured or uninsured coverage. You may also lose your license if you fail to report or flee an accident that results in an injury, death, or property damage of $1,000 or more.

Top Reasons for License Suspension in Minnesota

A driver’s license is a privilege in Minnesota. As such, it can get withdrawn if you fail to adhere to certain requirements or break certain laws. The Department of Public Safety maintains a database on licensing and driving violations. It may suspend your driver’s license for the following reasons:

Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

Though the legal alcohol concentration limit for drivers in Minnesota is .08%, motorists can get charged for having lower levels. The consequences of impaired driving vary with the offense. A DUI can be a felony, gross misdemeanor, or misdemeanor with varying degrees of punishment.

Your license can get suspended for a DUI charge or conviction. The length of the suspension will depend on your blood alcohol content and prior offenses. A first DUI offense may result in a 90-day license suspension that can be forgone using an ignition interlock device. You may also get a 15-day license suspension followed by a restricted license for 75 days.

Subsequent DUI offenses attract a license suspension of one to two years. Depending on the offense, you may have to complete substance use treatment. Other consequences of subsequent DUI offenses are jail time, ignition interlock device installation, and higher fines.

Repeated Traffic Violations

Minnesota uses a point system when tracking traffic violations. These points also help determine whether your driver’s license should be revoked or suspended. Your license will be revoked or suspended for a specific duration, depending on the accumulated points. A pattern of traffic violations suggests that you disregard the law and lack concern for public safety.

Repeated traffic violations can include reckless driving, DUI, and habitual traffic offender designation. You can avoid them by obeying traffic laws, driving defensively, avoiding distractions, and always staying alert. Seeking professional help and taking a driver’s education course can also help address issues that contribute to poor driving behaviors.

Failure to Appear in Court or Pay Fines

A judge may summon you to court on a particular date and time if you are a defendant in a civil or criminal matter. Failure to show up on the specified date will make the judge issue a warrant for your arrest.

The court will notify the Minnesota Department of Public Safety about your non-compliance with a court order. Following the notice, the DPS may suspend your driving privileges. The suspension timeframe will depend on your conviction history and offense.

You may also lose driving privileges if you fail to pay fines for a traffic violation conviction. So, how expensive is a speeding ticket in Minneapolis, especially if it involves unpaid fines? Unpaid speeding tickets can accumulate significant additional fees, making the initial violation even more costly.

Can Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Violations Cause License Suspension in Minnesota?

Under Minnesota law, you must carry auto insurance when operating a motor vehicle. The punishment for driving without auto insurance includes license suspension, jail time, and fines. The Department of Public Safety could revoke your license if you have high blood alcohol concentration levels or prior driving convictions.

License suspensions for driving without insurance last for one year. However, this duration depends on your previous violations. You must pay a reinstatement fee and provide evidence of insurance coverage once you complete the suspension period.

Completing a revocation period, on the other hand, requires you to pay a reinstatement fee and pass a DWI knowledge test before applying for a new license. The DPS may also order you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.

Your driver’s license can get suspended for uninsured and underinsured violations for various reasons. The first reason is driving without underinsured or uninsured motorist coverage. Another reason is failing to report an accident that results in at least $1,000 in property damage, personal injury, or death.

What Are Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist Violations?

Underinsured or uninsured motorist violations are offenses associated with inadequate vehicle insurance coverage. Each violation carries different penalties, including criminal charges, license suspension, and fines. The duration of the license suspension also varies with the violation.

You may face an uninsured motorist violation charge if caught driving without the minimum liability coverage required by Minnesota law. The minimum liability coverage includes property damage and bodily injury. It offers financial protection if you are involved in a crash that causes property damage and bodily injury.

An underinsured motorist violation can occur if you carry liability cover with limits that cannot cover accident damages. The injured party may be left with lost wages and unpaid medical bills, among other financial losses.

Factors That Can Impact Your License

Failure to Pay Child Support

Child support offices across Minnesota have various methods of collecting payments if you fail to meet court-obligated child support payments. The offices can garnish the wages of parents who are behind on child support payments or take money from state and federal refunds. They may also bill the noncustodial parent, report the issue to credit bureaus, or have the DPS suspend your driver’s license.

Your driver’s license may get suspended if your child support arrears are equal to or more than three times your monthly child support payments. The child support driver’s license suspension will also take effect if you fail to comply with the written payment agreement. Expect the child support office to notify you of a pending license suspension.

If you have a suspended license for missing child support payments, you can apply for a 90-day limited license. You will have to get it from the Department of Public Safety. The DPS only issues this license once.

Criminal Convictions and Felonies

When charged with a felony or convicted of a crime, the charge and conviction can affect your job, housing, or education prospects. Depending on the charge, you risk having your driver’s license suspended or revoked. Some criminal convictions and felonies that can affect your Minnesota license status include DUI, motor vehicle-related felonies, and fleeing the accident scene.

Committing perjury or making false statements, insurance-related offenses, and habitual traffic offender designation can also lead to license revocation or suspension. The suspension or revocation period will depend on your driving history and the nature of the offense.

Drag Racing or Speed Contest Participation

You may be charged for racing on a public road in an area not meant for car races. This is because these acts may result in crashes, injuries to pedestrians, bystanders, and other motorists, and property damage.

Besides facing criminal charges for drag racing, you may face civil consequences if the accident leads to property damage or injury. The charges may also progress to a felony traffic violation and cause license suspension. Felony traffic violation charges can arise from drunk driving, serious property damage, and an injury to a police officer.

Medical Conditions and Disabilities Can Impact Your License

Symptoms of certain medical conditions and disabilities can worsen, making it difficult to drive. As these health problems progress, your driver’s license may be revoked or suspended. The requirements for the suspension or revocation will depend on the condition and its impact on your driving ability.

Drug-Related Offenses

Committing drug-related offenses is punishable under Minnesota law. Drugs are known to affect the normal working of the nervous system, brain, and muscles, leading to impaired decisions and actions. In particular, you may be arrested for driving with a controlled substance in your system even if you don’t seem impaired.

If your occupation requires a professional license, that license may be canceled or suspended following a drug crime conviction. This is because drug convictions are considered proof of a lack of responsibility, trustworthiness, and judgment. Your driver’s license or professional license will be revoked or suspended depending on the crime, your criminal history, and potential public safety risk.

Getting Legal SupportA traffic violation can result in harsh consequences, including but not limited to license suspension or revocation, prison time, and fines. In most instances, the case outcome boils down to the officer’s observations against yours. For this reason, you need to work with an experienced traffic violations lawyer to better your odds of obtaining a favorable outcome from the case.

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Knowing how to choose a criminal defense lawyer in Minneapolis, MN, can help you hire a lawyer who will prepare an effective defense strategy and fight for the best result from your case. One of the crucial tips when selecting a criminal defense lawyer is to vet those with relevant experience in cases like yours. You can only do this when you thoroughly understand the charges you are facing.
People anticipating an arrest in Minneapolis, Minnesota, might ask, “What is the role of a defense attorney during an arrest?” A skilled criminal defense attorney can explain your options, ensure the police follow the rules, and protect your rights. The attorney will build a solid defense, talk to the prosecutor, and fight for your best interests.
Knowing when to hire a criminal lawyer for your case in Minnesota can help protect your constitutional rights and turn the odds in your favor. You should retain a criminal lawyer immediately after learning you are under investigation, get arrested, or are charged with a crime. Seasoned criminal lawyers understand the criminal justice system, can build a winning defense strategy, and aggressively push for a positive outcome of your case.