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Second Degree DWI

In Minnesota, a Second Degree DUI/DWI is a Gross Misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and a $3,000 in fine.

Fighting Second-Degree DWI Charges In Minnesota

A Second Degree DUI/DWI will be charged under the following circumstances:

  • It is your second within 10 years, and you test .16 or greater.
  • It is your second offense within 10 years, and a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of the offense.
  • It is your second offense within 10 years and you refuse testing.
  • It is your third offense within 10 years.

Mandatory Penalties

There are mandatory penalties that must be imposed for a Second Degree DUI/DWI conviction

Second Offense with a .16 or greater BAC

  • 30 days in jail

Second Offense with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle

  • 30 days in jail

Second Offense with a test refusal

  • 30 days in jail.

Third Offense within 10 years

  • 90 days in jail

Revocation Periods

There are mandatory license revocation periods that accompany Second Degree DUI/DWI charges.

Second offense in 10 years with BAC of .16 and above

  • 2 year revocation

Second offense in 10 years with a child under the age of 16 in the vehicle

  • 2 year revocation.

Second offense in 10 years with test refusal

  • 2 year revocation.

Third offense in 10 years

  • 3-year cancellation.

In the case of a second offense listed above, the driver may either forego driving for 2 years or participate in the Ignition Interlock program to begin driving right away

In the case of a third offense in 10 years, the driver’s license will be canceled as Inimical of Public Safety.  In order to drive, the person MUST demonstrate alcohol rehabilitation AND must participate in the Ignition Interlock program.


If your license was cancelled as Inimical of Public Safety, you will have what is called a “B card” upon reinstatement.  It is an alcohol restriction that is placed on the back of your Minnesota driver’s license.  It effectively prohibits you from consuming alcohol anywhere, any time.  For example, you have party for the Vikings game.  You and your guests are a little too rowdy, and your neighbor calls the police.  When the police arrive, it’s obvious that you have been drinking.  The officer asks you for your identification, flip it over and notices the alcohol restriction.  Although it is not a crime to drink with a B-Card, if the officer notifies the DMV that you in violation of the alcohol restriction your driver’s license will be once again cancelled as Inimical of Public Safety.  Imagine that; you haven’t driven your vehicle all day, but your license gets canceled simply because you were drinking beer at home during a football game.

Collateral Consequences

Under Minnesota law, if you are charged with Second Degree DWI/DUI, you will face consequences beyond a criminal conviction and license revocation/cancellation

  • License Plate Impoundment. If you are merely arrested for a Second Degree DWI/DUI, your license plates will be impounded, and you will be required to install special registration, or “whiskey plates” on every vehicle you own.
  • Vehicle Forfeiture. If you are merely arrested for Second Degree DWI/DUI, the vehicle in which you were driving will be seized, with the intent to forfeit.  In other words, the State of Minnesota wants to keep your car, sell it at auction, and keeping the proceeds.  You have the right to challenge that forfeiture, which requires that you file a Petition for Judicial Determination in District Court.  Most often, a conviction for the underlying Second Degree DWI/DUI charge is required in order for the state to get its way.  However, under certain circumstances, the accompanying driver’s license revocation is enough for the state to prevail.

Contact Attorney Carson J. Heefner Today

A second-degree DWI isn’t as serious as a first-degree offense, but it is still very serious and can have extremely negative consequences.  Carson J. Heefner has over 20 years experience representing people charged with Second Degree DWI/DUI in the State of Minnesota.  If you or anyone you know has been arrested for this offense, contact Carson at 612-202-8971 or for a free consultation.