Minnesota Statute 169A.25 Defines SECOND-DEGREE DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED.

A person who violates the DWI statute can be charged with second-degree driving while impaired if two or more aggravating factors were present when the violation was committed.

A person who violates the refusal to submit to chemical test crime can be charged with second-degree driving while impaired if one aggravating factor was present when the violation was committed.

Aggravating factors are defined in Minnesota Statute 169A.03 and include:

  • a qualified prior impaired driving incident within the ten years immediately preceding the current offense;
  • having an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or more as measured at the time, or within two hours of the time, of the offense; or
  • having a child under the age of 16 in the motor vehicle at the time of the offense if the child is more than 36 months younger than the offender.

Importantly, a prior violation of the implied consent statute can be used as a prior qualifying DWI for the purposes of this statute. This means that even if you beat a previous DWI case, you can still have the aggravating factor of a previous DWI.

In addition to any criminal case, there will be driver’s license implications to any DWI. It is important for you to know that you only have 30 days to challenge any license implications in Court. From the time you are pulled over, the clock is ticking, and it is important for you to talk to a lawyer.

There are ways to successfully challenge a charge of DWI and to challenge the driver’s license suspension or revocation. One way is challenging the “stop” itself. For example, if the police officer says you were speeding and you do not believe you were, you could contest the stop and have the case dismissed, including the license revocation or suspension. Another way to challenge the charge and/or the revocation is to challenge the test itself.

Another important fact about Minnesota DWI is that it is an enhanceable crime. This means that each subsequent DWI will be more serious, and each subsequent license revocation or suspension will be more serious also.

This is a serious charge with serious implications, and mandatory minimum sentences.


“It is important to take these types of charges seriously, because they can affect both your home and your working life. If you plead guilty, you may later regret it. Contact me today to discuss your options, and possible defenses. Give yourself a chance to fight these charges and not have them follow you around for years, or for the rest of your life.”

Elliott Nickell


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