The Cost of a DWI: How Much Will It Really Set You Back?
Driving under the influence (DWI) is a serious offense that can profoundly impact your finances. A DWI conviction can lead to fines, legal fees, and increased insurance rates, but it can also result in lost income and potential job loss.
In Minnesota, the costs of a DWI can be particularly high. We’ll explore the true cost of a DWI, including both the financial and personal consequences, and how a Minneapolis DWI lawyer can help.
What Constitutes a DWI in Minnesota?
According to Minnesota DWI laws, a DWI occurs when a person is found to be operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher. For commercial drivers, the legal limit is even lower, at 0.04%.
Additionally, Minnesota has a “zero-tolerance” policy for drivers under 21, meaning that any detectable amount of alcohol in their system can result in a DWI charge.
The Financial Cost of a DWI in Minnesota
The financial costs of a DWI in Minnesota can be significant.
Some of the costs associated with a DWI conviction in Minnesota include:
- Fines — The fines for a first-time DWI offense in Minnesota can range from $1,000 to $3,000. Repeat offenders can face fines of up to $14,000.
- Legal fees — Legal fees for a DWI can vary widely, but they can easily add up to several thousand dollars. These fees may include the cost of a lawyer, court fees, and other legal expenses.
- Ignition interlock device — In Minnesota, some DWI offenders are required to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicle. This device requires the driver to blow into a breathalyzer before the vehicle starts. Installing an IID can cost several hundred dollars, and the monthly rental fee can be up to $150.
- Increased insurance rates — A DWI conviction can lead to significantly higher insurance rates. In Minnesota, a DWI can affect your car insurance for up to 10 years, meaning you could be paying higher insurance rates for a long time.
- License reinstatement fees — After a DWI conviction in Minnesota, you may need to pay a fee to reinstate your driver’s license. This fee can be several hundred dollars.
- Lost income — If you are convicted of a DWI, you may need to take time off work for court appearances or to serve a jail sentence. This can result in lost income, a significant financial burden.
The Personal Costs of a DWI in Minnesota
In addition to the financial costs of a DWI, there are also personal costs to consider.
Some personal costs of a DWI conviction in Minnesota include:
- Jail time — A DWI conviction in Minnesota can result in jail time, even for first-time offenders. Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could be facing anywhere from a few days to several years in jail.
- Community service — In some cases, DWI offenders in Minnesota may be required to perform community service as part of their sentence. This can be a time-consuming and potentially embarrassing process.
- Job loss — If your job requires you to have a driver’s license or if your employer has a zero-tolerance policy for DWIs, a conviction could result in job loss.
- Personal relationships — A DWI conviction can strain personal relationships, particularly if you injure someone while driving under the influence. This can result in long-lasting damage to your personal life.
Facing DWI Charges in Minnesota? Contact a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer
Driving under the influence is a serious offense, and there are significant financial and personal DWI consequences. In Minnesota, the financial impact of a DWI can be particularly high, with fines, legal fees, increased insurance rates, lost income, and more all contributing to the overall cost. Personal costs, such as jail time, community service, and strained relationships, can also profoundly impact your life.
If you are facing a DWI charge in Minnesota, it is important to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled DWI attorney at Martine Law in Minneapolis can help you understand your rights and options and can work to minimize your case’s financial and personal costs.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.