What are the Minnesota laws for underage drinking and driving?

| Jun 21, 2021 | Drunk Driving |

When Minnesota teens gain access to alcohol the consequences are often grave, but what happens when teens who drink decide to get behind the wheel? The Minnesota Department of Public Safety notes that among young people aged 16-19 involved in fatal car crashes, 33% of those incidents involved alcohol.  

Teens in Minnesota accused of drinking and driving may face several serious legal consequences that could negatively affect their futures.  

Jail time and fees

Minnesota law dictates that individuals are legally drunk when their blood alcohol content measures more than .08. If convicted, underage drinkers could face up to one year in prison and pay $3,000 in fines. If teens have less than a .08 BAC, they are still subject to jail time and fees, with a sentence totaling 90 days or a $700 fine, depending on the discretion of the court.  

Loss of driving privileges

Any underage drinkers convicted of a DUI may have their driver’s license suspended, which could affect their ability to attend school or hold a job. Those who test below the .08 limit will lose their licenses for 30 days for the first offense and 180 days for any offenses thereafter. Either conviction remains on a driver’s record for 15 years, regardless of his or her age at the time of the incident.  

Underage drinkers in Minnesota may also lose their licenses if authorities catch them trying to buy any kind of alcohol with a fake ID. While these punishments may seem harsh to those who face them, they may deter other teens from underage drinking or getting behind the wheel of a car if they do decide to indulge.