Minnesota Statute 169A.26 Defines THIRD-DEGREE DRIVING WHILE IMPAIRED:

Subdivision 1. Degree described.

(a) A person who violates section 169A.20, subdivision 1, 1a, 1b, or 1c (driving while impaired crime), is guilty of third-degree driving while impaired if one aggravating factor was present when the violation was committed.

(b) A person who violates section 169A.20, subdivision 2 (refusal to submit to chemical test crime), is guilty of third-degree driving while impaired.”

3rd Degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor, with a possible sentence of 365 days in jail and a $3,000 fine.

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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