In the state of Minnesota, there is such a thing as vehicle forfeiture, the result of a conviction for driving while impaired. 

No doubt you depend on your car or truck. How will you get to work or to your classes if the state seizes your vehicle? How does forfeiture work? 

What the state can do 

In certain circumstances, the state of Minnesota can take your vehicle away from you and either sell it outright or keep it. You are in danger of vehicle forfeiture if you have a third DWI conviction within the past 10 years; if testing showed that your blood alcohol concentration level was .16% or higher; if you were driving while your license was either suspended or revoked or if there were aggravating factors in your arrest for DWI. 

License plate issues 

The state can also impound your license plates if aggravating factors accompany your DWI arrest: 

  • Having a passenger under the age of 16 in your vehicle 
  • Having a BAC of .20% or higher 
  • Having had a prior DWI conviction within a 10-year period 
  • Having lost your driver’s license for being a danger to the public 

To sell or to keep, that is the question

The state can keep your vehicle for official use, or it can sell the vehicle. If the decision is to sell, 70% of the proceeds must go to supplement operating funds for DWI-related training, education and enforcement while 30% must go to the operating fund of the prosecuting authority. 

Next steps 

Driving is such an important part of everyday life. If you face a conviction for DWI, remember that you have rights and can rely on guidance to help you fight vehicle forfeiture and license plate impoundment.