Minn. Stat. 169A.26 defines the crime of 3rd Degree DWI in Minnesota. The ways one can generally get charged with a 3rd Degree DWI are as follows:
- First time offense, but have a .16 or higher alcohol concentration (which is an aggravating factor);
- First time offense, but have a child under the age of 16, if the child is more than 36 months younger than you (which is an aggravating factor);
- First time offense of refusing to submit to a chemical test;
- This is your second impaired driving offense within 10 years (to include either a DWI conviction or an alcohol related license revocation).
A 3rd Degree DWI in Minnesota is a gross-misdemeanor. A gross-misdemeanor in Minnesota can bring penalties of up to one year in jail and up to a $3,000 fine.
You Could Be Facing Mandatory Penalties
If you are charged with 3rd Degree DWI on the basis of it being your second offense in 10 years, the mandatory penalties of Minn. Stat. 169A.275 apply. The court must execute one of the following:
- A minimum of 30 days incarceration, at least 48 hours of which must be served at a local jail; or
- Eight hours of community work service for each day less than 30 that is ordered to be served at a local jail.
There are some ways that a defendant could avoid these mandatory minimums:
- The court finds substantial mitigating factors;
- The court sentences the defendant to probation and orders to participate in a pilot program of intensive probation under Minn. Stat. 169A.74; or
- The court orders as a condition of probation that the defendant only drive vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock system.
You could also face a minimum fine of $900.