DWI laws in Minnesota

I’m not an attorney by any stretch of the imagination.  I’m just an ordinary gal trying to get by in life.  However, I’ve done a little research on the matter.  DWI laws are pretty near and dear to my heart at this moment while I recover from THE ACCIDENT.  I used to be confused when folks referred to 4th, 3rd and/or 2nd degree DWI.  For those of you who are wondering 4th is the least severe.  As the number of offenses increase (or your level of intoxication increases) so do the penalties (as they should).  However, I’ve found that many drunk drivers are very good at evading REAL punishment for the crime. 

The criminal penalties are as follows (according to the doc found here):

Fourth-Degree DWI – misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days of jail and a $1,000 fine (for the person’s first impaired driving violation within ten years without test refusal or any aggravating factors)

Third-Degree DWI – a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of jail and a $3,000 fine (for the person’s second impaired driving violation within ten years or first such violation with test refusal or another aggravating factor)

Second-Degree DWI – also a gross misdemeanor (for the person’s third impaired driving violation within ten years or second such violation with test refusal or one other aggravating factor, or first such violation with two aggravating factors)

First-Degree DWI – felony, punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment and a $14,000 fine (for the person’s fourth impaired driving violation within ten years or anytime following a previous felony DWI or criminal vehicular operation conviction; other aggravating factors are not considered)

Aggravating Factors
These include:
– a qualified prior impaired driving incident within the preceding ten years;
– an alcohol concentration of .20 or more upon arrest (but not for first-degree DWI);
– the presence of a child under age 16 in the vehicle, if more than 36 months younger
than the offender (but not for first-degree DWI).

If I’ve misstated something please correct me.

They guy who hit me headon had one previous conviction in Minnesota and it was for 3rd degree DWI.  He skipped over the 4th degree DWI because his BAC (blood alcohol content) was over .20.  The legal limit is .08.   For our accident his BAC was .19 so it appears his charge will be 3rd degree DWI again.  Had he had one more drink or had the test been administered after less time had elapsed he could have had 2 aggravating factors and been charged with a more serious crime.

I’m not vindictive but I am in pain.  I would like to see him suffer some of that same pain.  My life has been turned upside down by this.  I had a nice car.  I now have NO car.  I know…insurance will pay me for the car.  That is all fine and dandy but I was still paying for the car.  Now I have to pay off that car and go car shopping again and start all over.  I have doctors to see for my back.  I find it hard to sit for any length of time (I have a desk job).  I’m not looking for sympathy.  I’m looking for justice.  I’m paying for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I think his penalty should be a little more than a couple hundred dollars fine and a few days in jail.

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~ by whiskeyplate on January 8, 2009.

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