In August 2015, the alcohol content for a gross misdemeanor DWI will be lowered from .20 to .16. Attorney Christopher Cadem commented: “In my experience, this will dramatically affect a large number of the DWI cases I litigate. It is quite common for my clients to have an alcohol content over .16 but below a .20.” According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, almost 3 of every 5 first-time offenders will be affected by this new law.
This change harmonizes the criminal law with the implied consent license revocation statutes, which already punish more severely anyone with a .16 alcohol content. “I have been anticipating this change for years. Honestly, I expected it a long time ago,” said Cadem. The long-term impact of a DWI with an alcohol content of .16 or higher is dramatic. The maximum penalty for such individuals will increase from 90 days in jail to a full 1 year. Similarly, fines will rise from $1000 to $3000. It has been quite rare for someone with a first-time DWI to spend any time in jail for the offense. Now, jail will be more or less presumptive for anyone with an alcohol content of .16 or higher.
For more information: http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-stiffens-penalties-for-mid-level-dwis/307269911/