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When considering a Minnesota insurance company to handle your coverage, it is important to understand the Minnesota DUI laws that will affect that coverage. Each state has different standards that deal with operating a motor vehicle and alcohol – in some states violations are referred to as Driving Under the Influence (DUI), and in others Driving While Impaired (DWI). Minnesota falls into the latter group, and before selecting the right insurance company, it may be useful to review the DUI laws that impact this occurrence as it may affect your coverage. Compare car insurance quotes with our FREE search and find cheap car insurance quotes INSTANTLY!
The Definition of Driving While Intoxicated
Under Minnesota statute, it is unlawful to drive, operate, or be in control of a motor vehicle anywhere in the state while:
- Under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or any other hazardous substances known to be hazardous at the time it was ingested, or any combination thereof;
- Having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher at the time of operation or within two hours thereof;
- Having either the presence of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, or the chemical markers of its presence, in one’s system (with the exception of marijuana);
- Have a BAC of 0.04 or higher at the time of operation or within two hours thereof if the vehicle is a commercial motorized vehicle
If any of the above are violated, and individual can be found in violation of state law and prosecuted accordingly. This may, in turn, have a direct impact on one’s current and future insurance rates. Compare state car insurance and laws to find the best ways to save on your plans.
Depending on the level of the offense, the state of Minnesota recognizes four distinct degrees of DWI. Each carries an increasingly stiff penalty and each should be understood, as they will impact insurance rates.
- Fourth Degree DWI – This is the least severe level of DWI and is considered a misdemeanor under Minnesota DWI laws. This level of infraction is punishable by up to 90 days of jail time and a fine of $1000. This is the typical penalty for a first offense within the preceding ten years and no refusal to be tested or aggravating factors.
- Third Degree DWI – This is the next least severe level of DWI and is considered a gross misdemeanor under Minnesota DWI laws. This level of infraction is punishable by up to one year of jail time and a fine of $3000. This is the typical penalty for a second offense within the preceding ten years or when there is a refusal to be tested or aggravating factors.
- Second Degree DWI – This is the next least severe level of DWI and is also considered a gross misdemeanor under Minnesota DWI laws. This level of infraction is punishable by up to one year of jail time and a fine of $3000. This is the typical penalty for a third offense within the preceding ten years or when there is a refusal to be tested or aggravating factor on a second offense, or multiple aggravating factors of a first offense.
- First Degree DWI – This is the next least severe level of DWI and is considered a felony under Minnesota DWI laws. This level of infraction is punishable by up to seven years of jail time and a fine of $14,000. This is the typical penalty for a second offense within the preceding ten years or when there is a refusal to be tested or aggravating factors.
- Any DWI infraction that has occurred within the preceding ten years
- A BAC upon measurement at the time of arrest in excess of 0.20
- The presence in the car of the driver who has committed the infraction of a child under the age of 16 years old, but only in cases where the child is more than thirty-sex months younger than the driver.
In each of the above scenarios, or in cases where more than one are present, the degree of DWI that may be charged and upon which a conviction may be sought is elevated by a degree per aggravating factor. Being charged with any of these convictions could drastically raise your Minnesota car insurance!
It is important for any individual who is shopping for insurance to be aware of what is on his or her driving record. The presence of any DWI charge or conviction is likely to have a negative impact on that individual’s ability to get coverage at all, and will increase the rate. In a case where aggravating factors are present, the car insurance company may take those into further account when quoting rates. While the existence of these incidence on one’s record does make obtaining car insurance impossible, it is good to be prepared for the potential cost when shopping and comparing quotes. Find affordable car insurance by entering your ZIP code below! We are here to help you!