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BAC levels and DWI penalties

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2022 | Criminal Defense

If you are facing DWI charges, many different factors could have an impact on the potential penalties you face. Aside from past charges and the presence of a child in the vehicle, your blood alcohol content (BAC) level could also affect the outcome of your DWI case.

It is important to understand the potential repercussions associated with a higher BAC level, as well as the unique circumstances surrounding your case. For example, some drivers find themselves in this position after the violation of their legal rights during a traffic stop.

DWI charges and Minnesota’s legal limit

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, the legal limit in this state is .08. Therefore, a driver stopped with a BAC level of .08 or greater could face DWI charges. The DPS also points out that some drivers can face drunk driving charges if their BAC level is below .08. Those taken into custody for drunk driving could face significant financial repercussions (a fine, legal expenses, court costs, etc.) as well as potential time behind bars and the loss of their driving privileges for as long as a year, even if it is their first DWI offense.

DWI charges with a higher BAC level

If charged with DWI and your BAC level exceeded .016 (twice the legal limit), you could have to use an ignition interlock device or face the loss of your driving privileges for two years. In fact, the state lowered the threshold for these penalties from a .20 BAC level to .08. The DPS reports that on average, drivers have a BAC level of .15 when taken into custody for driving drunk.