Being charged with drunk driving can be a scary, embarrassing and stressful experience. Not only are you facing the possibility of a criminal conviction, you could also lose your license and suffer damage to your reputation and relationships.
These consequences can be even worse when there are aggravating factors involved. This means that there are specific elements of your situation that increase the severity of the charges against you. For instance, in the context of drunk driving, repeat offenses will typically lead to penalties that are more serious.
In Minnesota, there are specific guidelines in place with regard to the penalties for repeat DUI offenses. According to these laws:
- A second DUI/DWI will result in at least 30 days incarceration or eight-hour periods of community service
- A third DUI/DWI will result in at least 90 days incarceration or intensive supervision, and possibly a period of home detention
- A fourth offense will result in at least 180 days incarceration or intensive supervision, and possibly a period of home detention
- A fifth or subsequent offense will result in at least one year incarceration or intensive supervision, and possibly a period of home detention
There are a few important notes to make here. To begin with, there are exceptions that can result in an adjustment of these penalties. Additionally, these only address the incarceration aspect of DUI convictions; there can also be fines, restitution and chemical assessments ordered. Further, it must be noted that these guidelines refer only to repeat offenses within 10 years.
Considering how high the stakes can be when it comes to repeat DWI offenses, it will be crucial that you understand your right to defend yourself if you have at least one prior drunk driving offense and are facing another one.
With legal guidance, you can work to have the charges against you dismissed or reduced. If you can do that, your exposure to the escalated penalties of a repeat drunk driving conviction can be minimized.