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Impaired Driving

Impaired Driving: A Serious Threat on Minnesota Roads

Minnesota’s enhanced DWI enforcement and education efforts have been factors in the continued reduction of alcohol-related deaths. Still, drunk driving remains a serious threat, contributing to 95 deaths in 2015. There were more than 25,000 motorists arrested for DWI in 2015, and one in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record. 


Minnesota DWI Courts: A Summary of Evaluation Findings

Read the summary of a detailed process evaluation and outcome evaluation in nine Minnesota DWI court programs, and a cost-benefit evaluation in seven of these programs. The overall goal of the DWI court project was to have a credible and rigorous evaluation of the process and effectiveness of Minnesota’s DWI courts.


Help Prevent Impaired Driving

The fight against impaired driving is everyone’s responsibility:

  • Have a plan for a sober ride before you party.

  • Use safe alternatives — designate a sober driver; take a cab or public transportation; or crash on a friend’s couch, so you don’t crash on the road.

  • Speak Up — if you see erratic driving (swerving, driving too slow, etc.); find a safe place to call 911. Be prepared to provide location, driver behavior, and most importantly, a license plate.

The Consequences of Impaired Driving

The legal limit for driving impaired in Minnesota is 0.08 — but motorists can be arrested for DWI at lower levels.

The consequences for driving impaired will vary for each DWI offender. A typical penalty for a first-time offender is loss of license for a minimum of 30 days up to a year and possible jail time. Costs of DWI can be as high as $20,000 when factoring court costs, legal fees and increased insurance premiums.


Stronger DWI Sanctions with Ignition Interlock Law 

Repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time offenders arrested at 0.16 and above alcohol-concentration level, must use interlock in order to regain legal driving privileges, or face at least one year without a driver’s license. Offenders with three or more offenses are required to install interlock and use for three to six years, or they will never regain driving privileges. Learn more about the ignition interlock sanctions.