Upon arrest for a DWI, the worry is not only about what might happen in the criminal case, but also about how long you will lose your driver’s license for a DWI in Minnesota. The main factors influencing the length are whether you took a breath, blood, or urine test, the alcohol level of that test, and how many prior DWI offenses you have on your record.

As a default, you can look at the Notice and Order of Revocation, which is what the Minnesota Department of Public Safety enters as the length of time your license is revoked. If you want to double-check that number or ensure its accuracy, the following principles apply.

First Offense

A first-time DWI with an alcohol concentration of .15 or lower, will be subject to a 90-day revocation period in Minnesota. The same length of time applies for first-time controlled substance and hazardous substance DUIs. If those drivers later plead guilty to a Fourth Degree DWI offense, then there will be an administrative reduction to 30 days for the license revocation. In either event, the person is eligible to drive on a limited license after 15 days of the revocation period accrue.

If your alcohol concentration is .16 or more, then a first-time DWI will have a driver’s license revocation period of 1 year. In this scenario, the driver is not able to obtain a limited license, but can partake in Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Program. There is no waiting period to become a participant in ignition interlock, you just have to fulfill all the requirements as quickly as you can to get up and running on the device.

If you refuse to submit to an evidentiary breath, blood, or urine test, then you will receive a revocation of 1 year. You will also be eligible to drive on a limited license after 15 days of the revocation period pass. Further, if you later plead guilty to a Third Degree DWI Refusal or Fourth Degree DWI, then you will receive an administrative reduction for your license revocation period if you have no prior DUIs or implied consent revocations in your lifetime.

Second Offense

A second-DWI offense within a ten-year period will result in a license revocation of 1 year, if the person’s alcohol concentration was under .16 for their present offense. If the driver tested .16 or more or refused the test, then the revocation period is 2 years. In all of these scenarios, the person is eligible to get on the ignition interlock device for this time period. 

Third Offense

A third offense within a ten-year period will result in a cancellation of the person’s driver’s license for 3 years. Regardless of the person’s alcohol concentration level or whether they refused a test, the cancellation period of 3 years applies. A difference between a cancellation period and a revocation period is that a cancellation the requirement for a person to get their regular driver’s license back is that they have to become a participant in Minnesota’s Ignition Interlock Program. And, the 3-year cancellation period does not begin to accrue until the driver is on that program. For a revocation period, a driver can just decide not to drive for the length of the revocation period and apply for their regular driver’s license thereafter.

Fourth Offense or More

A person’s fourth DWI or more will also result in a cancellation. This time for 6 years. The same mandatory ignition interlock restrictions apply, except the limited license stays in effect for the first 3 years.

In any scenario, a driver has a right to challenge their driver’s license revocation or cancellation through the implied consent process. To read more about that, Click Here to Read More

Importantly, if you are under twenty-one years old at the time of the DUI, then the revocation periods will double in time. Additionally, the laws on revocation periods in Minnesota can change through the legislative process. In the past decade, this occurred multiple times. If there is a question about whether the law has changed in this regard, please contact us for the most up-to-date information.