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Are Minnesota's DWI laws tough enough?

For several decades now, groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving have tirelessly sought to raise public awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving in Minnesota and around the nation. While it may seem normal that people say they understand the risks associated with this behavior, lives continue to be lost at the hands of drunk drivers. Clearly, more is needed if there can ever be a way to stop this from happening.

You may wonder just what happens to someone who is convicted of or arrested for driving while intoxicated. Just how severe are the consequences? Maybe they are not harsh enough and if they were stronger, more people would think twice about getting behind the wheel after they have been drinking. Ignition interlock devices have been highlighted as effective ways of cracking down on impaired driving.

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, a person arrested for a first-time DWI with a blood alcohol content between 0.08 and 0.15 percent is not required to use an ignition interlock device. They may choose to use one for up to three months in order to avoid having a short loss of driving privileges followed by limited driving ability for that time. The mandated use of an IID does not kick in until the drunk driver's BAC exceeds 0.15 percent. 

This information is not intended to provide legal advice but is instead meant to give Minnesota residents an overview of the type of penalties that a person may face if convicted of drunk driving.

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