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When does a second DWI count as a repeat offense?

Drinking and driving is never a good idea, but mistakes happen. If you were pulled over by police for driving while intoxicated, hopefully you contacted an attorney and have resolved the matter, ready to move on. 

But once you have made it through the terrible experience of a drunken driving arrest, you probably feel fearful. You may be worried about making the same mistake again. Under Minnesota law, another DUI/DWI conviction within 10 years is considered a repeat offense. This is important to understand because repeat offenses following a first conviction carry higher penalties, which get more serious with each offense. There are increases in both jail time and fines.

Here is a look at the mandatory minimums for jail sentencing after conviction in Minnesota:

  • Second DWI within 10 years: 30 days incarceration. At least 48 hours must be served in jail. For each day less than 30 served, eight hours of community service must be done.
  • Third within 10 years: 90 days incarceration. At least 30 days must be served consecutively in jail.
  • Fourth within 10 years: 180 days of incarceration. At least 30 days must be served consecutively in jail.
  • Fifth within 10 years: One year of incarceration. At least 60 days must be served consecutively in jail.

If you are facing a first or repeat drunk driving offense, it is important to talk to an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. Your future could depend on it.

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