DWI with BAC Over 0.16
Most motorists are aware that a person can be charged with driving while impaired (DWI) in Minnesota if he or she drives, operates, or is in physical control of a motor vehicle while having a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. First and second DWI offenses are traditionally classified as misdemeanors, but higher alcohol concentrations can result in enhanced charges.
While alcohol concentrations of 0.16 or higher trigger additional administrative sanctions, Minnesota has also reduced the BAC threshold for enhanced criminal penalties from 0.20 to 0.16. Beginning in August 2015, a driver who is arrested for his or her first or second DWI with a BAC of 0.16 will be charged with a gross misdemeanor.
Apple Valley DWI with BAC Over 0.16 Lawyer
Did you have a BAC of 0.16 or higher when you were arrested in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area for DWI? Former Dakota County Attorney’s Office prosecutor James Blumberg of James Blumberg Law has handled scores of drunk driving cases in the Twin Cities, and he knows the most effective ways to get these charges significantly reduced or possibly even dismissed.
Our Dakota County DWI with BAC over 0.16 attorney represents clients in Coon Rapids, Woodbury, Brooklyn Park, Minnetonka, Burnsville, St. Cloud, Eagan, and many other nearby areas. We will provide an honest and thorough evaluation of your case when you call (952) 431-7758 to take advantage of a free, confidential consultation.
Minnesota DWI with BAC Over 0.16 Information Center
- How is a person’s alcohol concentration calculated?
- What impact does this BAC level have on the criminal penalties?
- How are administrative sanctions affected by a BAC of 0.16 or more?
- Are there any defenses that can be used in these cases?
The term BAC is most often used in reference to DWI cases, but the Minnesota Statutes relating to drunk driving simply refer to this measurement as just alcohol concentration. Subdivision 2 of Minnesota Statute § 169A.03 states that alcohol concentration can mean:
- The number of grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood;
- The number of grams of alcohol per 210 liters of breath; or
- The number of grams of alcohol per 67 milliliters of urine.
Breath tests are the most commonly utilized form of BAC testing in Minnesota, and breath alcohol levels are usually converted to BAC figures. An alleged offender’s BAC is not a factor in the criminal penalties and administrative sanctions for third or subsequent DWI arrests, as all third offenses are gross misdemeanors and all fourth or subsequent offenses are felonies regardless of an alleged offender’s BAC.
Typically, a driver arrested for his or her first or second DWI with a BAC of 0.08 or over but less than 0.16 faces misdemeanor charges. This can possibly result in a maximum sentence of up to 90 days imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
However, a BAC of 0.16 or higher will now result in the crime being classified as a gross misdemeanor. This triggers increased penalties that may include:
- Up to three years imprisonment; and/or
- Fine of up to $3,000.
Additionally, a drivers who is arrested for his or her second DWI offense within 10 years of his or her first conviction can also forfeit his or her vehicle under Minnesota Statute § 169A.63 if there was a child under 16 years of age (and more than 36 months younger than the alleged offender) in the vehicle at the time of the alleged offense.
The administrative sanctions for a DWI involving a BAC of 0.16 or higher are also more severe than those imposed on alleged offenders charged with DWI while their BACs were 0.08 or more but less than 0.16. This can dramatically lengthen the time amount of time that an alleged offender will lose his or her driving privileges.
A driver charged with his or her first DWI while having a BAC less than 0.16 will lose his or her traditional driving privileges for 90 days. Alleged offenders in these cases are given the choice of 15 days of no driving privileges and a limited license for the remaining 90-day period or full driving privileges for the full 90-day period with the use of an ignition interlock device. However, a first DWI involving a BAC of 0.16 or greater will mean the alleged offender has his driving privileges affected for one year, and he or she can choose one of the following:
- One year of no driving privileges; or
- One year of an ignition interlock device restricted driver’s license.
Additionally, alleged first-time DWI offenders with BACs of 0.16 or more will also have their license plates impounded. These people may be able to obtain special temporary plates that are commonly referred to as “whiskey plates” because they typically start with the letter W.
The one-year licensing choices listed above are also the options presented to alleged offenders arrested for their second DWI offenses with BACs less than 0.16. If a second-time alleged offender has a BAC of 0.16 or higher, then he or she will have his or her driving privileges affected for two years and be given the following options:
- Two years of no driving privileges; or
- Two years of an ignition interlock device restricted driver’s license.
Many people automatically assume that they will be convicted after being arrested with any BAC that is over the legal limit. However, it is critical to remember that there are any number of errors or other aggravating factors that may contribute to inaccurate test results.
These types of mistakes are especially critical when errors lead to BAC readings that are 0.16 or more because of the enhanced criminal and administrative penalties. Some of the types of issues with alcohol concentration tests in Minnesota that can be addressed and used to get charges reduced or dismissed include, but are not limited to:
- Equipment malfunction
- Testing instruments not sterilized
- Breath test operator not licensed
- Improperly administered alcohol test
- Failure to conduct 15-minute observation period
- Unapproved breath test device
- Interfering substance in mouth of alleged offender
- Failure to record machine certification test
- Failure to calibrate breath test machine
- Improperly handled blood or urine sample
James Blumberg Law – A DWI with BAC Over 0.16 Lawyer in Dakota County
If you submitted to a chemical test that indicated you had an alcohol concentration of 0.16 or higher when you were arrested for DWI, you should not delay in seeking legal counsel. James Blumberg Law fights to protect the rights of clients throughout Hennepin County, Anoka County, Dakota County, and Ramsey County.
James Blumberg represents residents all over the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area, including Lakeville, Eden Prairie, Bloomington, Maple Grove, Blaine, Plymouth, and many more surrounding communities. Let our Apple Valley DWI with BAC over 0.16 attorney review your case and begin developing your defense by calling (952) 431-7758 today for a free consultation.