• DWI License Consequences


    If your license has been suspended due to DWI, you lose driving privileges. However, there are times when a license is suspended that a compelling reason to drive can result in limited restoration of driving privileges. You only have a limited period of time to fight for your driving privileges, which is why it is important for you to talk to your St. Paul DWI attorney about how you can do that.


    There are many types of DWI offenses that can result in license suspension. They include:

    BWI/SWI/AWI – You can have your driver’s license suspended if you have been convicted of boating while intoxicated, snowmobiling while intoxicated, and ATVing while intoxicated. The suspension period is 90 days.

    Commercial DWI – If you are caught drinking while behind the wheel of a commercial vehicle, you could lose your CDL. This means job loss and income loss.

    Criminal vehicular homicide – If you are guilty of DWI resulting in criminal vehicular homicide, your license could be suspended for up to one year.

    First-time DWI – Even with a first offense, your license may be suspended for up to 30 days.

    Felony DWI – License suspension can last up to one year.

    Underage DWI – If you are under 21 and convicted of DWI, you will lose your license between 1 and 6 months.

    Test refusal – If you refuse to take field sobriety tests, blood, urine, or breath tests, then your license could be suspended for up to one year.

    License suspension can be difficult because you need a license to go to and from work and to run errands. This is why you should not accept the charges filed against you and fight them so you can have a much better outcome.


    Multiple charges can come about out of a DWI. If you were involved in an accident, charges could be brought against you for that. If drinking and driving led to vehicular homicide, then there are even more charges and the penalties will be harsher.

    If your license is suspended and you drive with a suspended license, you could be charged with a misdemeanor. This entails a $1,000 fine and up to 90 days in prison. You could also be looking at the suspension being lengthened. With the right Minneapolis DWI lawyer working with you, it is possible that the sentence could be reduced and you could walk away from the matter.


    In addition to the criminal charges for DWI, there are civil consequences as well in the state of Minnesota. If you are convicted of DWI and your driver’s license is revoked, your vehicle is forfeited, your plates are impounded, or you receive a negative mark on your driving record, you are paying the civil consequences.

    If you have been charged with DWI, it is important to secure the representation of a qualified and skilled St. Paul DWI Lawyer who can fight for your rights and defend you against as many of the criminal and civil penalties as possible.

    Helping You Avoid Criminal & Civil Penalties

    The criminal penalties include jail time, fines, and probation. The civil consequences of DWI include:

    Driver’s license cancellation or revocation

    Negative mark on your driving record, thus increasing automobile insurance rates

    License plate impoundment

    Vehicle forfeiture

    These are penalties that can be difficult to overcome, but you can fight them through a DWI Civil Hearing. For instance, you need your vehicle and/or your license to be able to drive back and forth to work, run errands, take the kids to and from school, and to simply get around when needed. This is why your attorney will work to reduce as many of the civil penalties for you as possible by fighting them. If they are unavoidable, there may be circumstances in which you can gain back some driving privileges.

    Understanding The Marks On Your Driving Record

    When you are arrested for DWI, there are two marks placed on your driving record. The first states the BAC and the date of the arrest. If tests were refused, then the record will state that sobriety testing was refused. The second notation is that the license was cancelled or revoked and the specific period of time it was taken away. This second notation is entered seven days after the arrest.

    The downfall to these marks is that the insurance companies will use them to either charge you risk rates or to completely cancel your insurance. If your rates increase, they can increase by up to $2,000 per year.

    If the insurance company learns that your license was cancelled or revoked because of a alcohol-related driving offense, they will automatically cancel your current insurance and require you to be placed on risk insurance, which is going to cost you more. This is why it is very important to secure the quality representation of a St. Paul DWI lawyer to help you fight the charges and reduce the consequences in the end. That way you can move forward without the consequences of the DWI offense following you indefinitely.


    There are certain circumstances when the state can take the license plate of an automobile and destroy it. This is what is called license plate impoundment.

    There are a number of instances that can cause the state to impound plates. Minnesota Statute Sec. 169A.60, the Commissioner of Public Safety has the authority to issue an order to impound plates for DWI if any of the following circumstances exist:

    The offense is a first DWI offense and the test result is .16 or higher

    The offense is a first DWI offense and there was a passenger in the vehicle under 16 years of age

    There are prior DWI offenses or a DWI-related license revocation within the preceding 10 years

    The arresting police officer usually issues the license plate impound order, acting on the Commissioner of Public Safety’s behalf. The state Department of Public Safety or a judge can issue the order. If you have received an order for your license plates to be impounded, you will need the help of an experienced St. Paul DWI attorney to help you.


    There are times when it is possible to get special plates for the automobile so it can be driven despite the fact it is subject to the impound order. For instance, the driver can obtain a limited driver’s license, which means he or she can then apply for special plates. Another way special plates can be obtained is when there is another driver within the household who needs to drive the vehicle. When the violator gets their license back, new license plates can be obtained for the vehicle.

    When special plates are allowed, they have certain letters on them that indicate to police officers what they are. Minnesota law says that a police officer who sees a driver driving a vehicle with these numbers has the right to pull over the vehicle to make sure the driver is operating the vehicle legally and with a valid driver’s license. After full driving privileges are restored, the new plates can be applied for after one year for all vehicles registered in that driver’s name.

    If the vehicle was not owned by the driver, then the owner may be able to acquire new license plates for the vehicle. The owner will have to submit a sworn statement to the Commissioner of Public Safety that states the facts and contains a request to get the plates back.


    Your Minneapolis DWI lawyer can fight plate impoundment on your behalf, but you have a specific time to do so, so you have to act fast. There are times when a police officer will arrest someone for DWI and will impound the plates by mistake. There may even be technical reasons why impoundment was not the right thing to do. You can challenge the validity by requesting a judicial review.



    If your license has been revoked because of a DWI conviction or implied consent violation, you may be able to obtain a work permit, which is also referred to as a “limited license.” This license will allow you to drive to and from your job, to any chemical dependency treatments that you have been ordered to complete, to college or another postsecondary institution, or to provide for the needs of your family.

    But first it is important for you to fight the DWI charge because it is possible for you to obtain the best possible result when you have a St. Paul DWI attorney working by your side throughout the legal process. Just because you have been charged doesn’t mean that you have to be convicted.

    If you are not able to avoid license revocation, your attorney can give you the advice and guidance you need when looking to obtain a limited license.


    There are certain rules in place when it comes to obtaining a limited license and it is very important to understand these rules. For instance:

    If you have violated the implied consent law for the first time or gotten a first-time DWI, you have to wait 15 days before applying for your limited license.

    You must wait 90 days if it is your second offense and you complied with implied consent.

    180 days if it is your second offense and you refused sobriety testing.

    365 days if your license was revoked due to criminal vehicular homicide or manslaughter.

    If you are underage, you may need to wait for at least 90 days.

    You could have to wait an additional 60 days if the revocation of your license was due to the vehicle you were driving being used while committing a felony or a hit and run that caused injury.


    If a license is canceled for three or more DWI violations, then a limited license may not be issued. This is something that you and your Minneapolis DWI attorney can challenge if there is a chance that the denial is a mistake.

    What the Department of Public Safety does allow is for a limited license to be issued if that person qualifies for the ignition interlock program. Not everyone qualifies, but you can consult with your attorney to see if your unique situation may qualify. All in all, you can work with your attorney throughout the entire DWI process and when addressing issues related to a DWI conviction.