If you have been arrested or convicted for driving under the influence (DWI) in Minnesota, you are already aware of the severe penalties associated with these charges. In addition to possible jail time and fines, a DWI can result in the loss of driving privileges within the state. Loss of driving privileges can have negative consequences for your personal life, career, and education. Thankfully, the state provides options for regaining your license after a suspension. With the aid of a Minneapolis DWI Defense Attorney, there may also be options for driving while your privileges are still suspended. After being arrested for DWI, you should always seek the counsel of an attorney. In addition to guiding you through these obstacles, your legal counsel could also help you defeat the charges against you. Contact the attorneys at Ambrose Law today for more information.
Minnesota Requirements for Obtaining Your License Back
The requirements for regaining a suspended license following a DUI conviction are straightforward. Either immediately or once the revocation period has expired, the first step is to submit an application for a new license. This also requires payment of the application fee. Due to the revocation of your license, you must also pay a reinstatement fee. You will be unable to acquire a new license until you provide proof of payment. The reinstatement fee is currently $680. It is possible that the state will require additional steps or documentation for you to obtain a driver’s license. You may be surprised to discover that the process of regaining your license can begin immediately. Many individuals do not begin the process of regaining their driver’s license until the period of suspension has expired. This is an error. You are able to initiate this procedure immediately, allowing you to drive as soon as your license suspension period begins following your arrest.
You can begin the process of applying for a new license as soon as state records indicate that your license will be revoked. This includes the payment of the reinstatement fee and the completion of the application. In fact, you can also install an ignition interlock device without waiting for the state’s approval. Of course, these devices are typically billed on a monthly basis, so installing the interlock early may not be the best decision. You may also qualify for a restricted license, also known as a work permit. Your case and circumstances will determine which option(s) you can utilize.
What Became of the DWI Knowledge Exam?
An examination known as the DWI knowledge test has been one of the most aggravating requirements for obtaining a license for years. Even if you have completed your suspension period and met all other requirements, the state will not reinstate your license until you pass this exam. This test of knowledge was a multiple-choice examination that covered many fundamental driving concepts. The majority of the questions on this exam were drawn from Chapters 7 and 8 of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual. The exam could be taken in numerous locations across the state, including DMV offices. The state would not allow you to obtain your license until you passed. Fortunately, the state has eliminated this requirement. In 2021, drivers convicted of DWI will no longer be required to pass this exam before receiving their license back. There was scant evidence that these tests improved driver safety or had any effect other than making driving in Minnesota more difficult.
Can I Drive in Minnesota before My Suspension Period Ends?
For some individuals, it is possible to recover limited driving privileges even if their suspension period has not yet expired. First, the ignition interlock previously discussed may be an option. A limited license is an option for some drivers who do not qualify for a full license. The restricted license is also referred to as a work permit. Not everyone is eligible to obtain a work permit. Your eligibility for this program will be determined by a variety of factors, beginning with your BAC at the time of your arrest. If you had a high blood alcohol concentration, you may not be eligible. Also relevant are your prior criminal record and whether or not you submitted to a breath test. If you are granted a restricted license, you are only permitted to operate your vehicle under specific conditions. These licenses allow the majority of individuals to drive to and from work, alcohol or chemical dependency treatment programs, and educational institutions.
Homemakers are subject to slightly different restrictions than those who work or attend school full-time. Some housewives can obtain a limited license that allows them to drive to acquire food, medical care, or other family necessities. These restricted licenses typically permit parents to transport their children to school. Even if you qualify for a restricted license, you may not be immediately eligible. Typically, there is a waiting period that must expire before these licenses become available. For first-time offenders with a blood alcohol concentration below 0.16, as well as first-time drivers charged with Chemical Test Refusal, the waiting period is typically 15 days after the start of the revocation period.
In Minnesota, Ignition Interlock Devices May Be Required.
In some instances, regaining driving privileges necessitates installing an ignition interlock device. These devices require you to blow into a tube attached to your vehicle’s steering column each time you enter the driver’s seat. The device measures your blood alcohol concentration when you do so. If any alcohol is detected on your breath, your vehicle will not start. Additionally, you could be required to provide additional breath samples while driving to ensure you are not drinking and driving. These are known as rolling exams.
To regain driving privileges, an ignition interlock device must be installed in two situations. The first category includes those arrested for DWI with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16 or higher. In addition, repeat offenders must install an interlock device if they wish to drive during the duration of their respective license suspensions. There are additional requirements that must be met in order to qualify for an ignition interlock device. If you do not meet these requirements, it may be impossible for you to obtain a limited driver’s license.
These requirements include:
- submitting a completed license application;
- paying your reinstatement fee; and
- signing and submitting your Minnesota Ignition Interlock Program Participation Agreement.
- Install the ignition interlock device in your vehicle and send the DPS proof of installation.
You are permitted to install the ignition interlock device at any time, as long as the installation is performed by an authorized party. While the state will issue you a driving permit letter, you can install the device in advance. Obviously, it is essential to remember that even with the device installed, you are not permitted to drive without state authorization.
The time required to use the interlock device can vary. Typically, it will depend on the length of your revocation period. When you receive your state-issued approval letter, it will specify how long you must rely on this device to operate a motor vehicle. It is also possible that the interlock device will be required for a longer period of time. If you violate any of the terms of your limited license, you may be required to keep the device installed for a longer period of time.
There is a fee for using ignition interlock devices. Costs associated with installing this device in your vehicle are your responsibility. There is an installation fee of $100 or more to initiate service. In addition, each of the approved interlock companies will charge a monthly lease fee.
Contact a DUI Defense Lawyer in Minneapolis Regarding Your DWI Arrest
Dealing with the repercussions of a DUI can be aggravating. The good news is that it may not even be necessary to experience these consequences. If you successfully challenge the prosecution with the assistance of a Minneapolis DUI defense attorney and win your DWI case, you may be exonerated. Ambrose Law’s attorneys have a strong track record of winning these cases. Now is the time to contact us if you are ready for us to put our experience to work for you. Quickly schedule a free consultation with the attorneys of Ambrose Law.