Under 21 DWI Defense in Minnesota

In the state of Minnesota, there is zero-tolerance when it comes to underage drinking. Anyone under the age of 21 with alcohol in their system is in violation of the law, regardless of the amount. This means that when driving, the normal law regarding blood alcohol concentration (BAC) does not apply. While a driver over 21 can drive with a BAC below .08, a driver under 21 cannot operate a motor vehicle with any amount of alcohol in their system. Anyone under the age of 21 found driving while intoxicated is subject to misdemeanor penalties, including fines and the suspension of driving privileges.

If you are under 21 and have been charged with a DWI, or you are the parent of someone under 21 charged with DWI, you need the services of a Minneapolis-based attorney with knowledge and experience. The penalties for this crime can be harsh and it can be difficult reinstating a driver’s license suspended due to an under 21 DWI.

Minnesota Under 21 DWI Penalties

DWI laws apply to drivers of any age as long as they have an illegal substance in their bodies while they are operating a motor vehicle. The biggest difference in the law when applied to drivers under 21 is the BAC stipulation. Other factors that differ include:

A driver that is 16 or 17 is charged as an adult rather than a juvenile, meaning they are subject to adult penalties. However, they cannot be incarcerated at adult correctional facilities.

Drivers under 21 cannot possess alcohol with the intent to consume it, purchase it, or misrepresent their age in an attempt to purchase it.

Vanessa’s Law in MN

Named after Vanessa Weiss, a 15-year-old girl killed in an accident in which she was the passenger of an unlicensed 15-year-old driver, Vanessa’s Law was established in 2004. It mandates that anyone driving under the age of 18 while intoxicated must complete the following:

  • Delay obtaining their license until the age of 18
  • Pay as much as $680 in fines prior to receiving their license
  • Successfully complete a knowledge test prior to receiving their license
  • Finish a classroom drivers education course
  • Pay any other penalties incurred
  • Have their permit for at least three months before applying for their driver's license

Minnesota is not flexible about the application of Vannesa’s Law, nor its “Not a Drop” Law regarding drivers under the age of 21. This is why it is so important to contact an experienced DWI lawyer in Minneapolis.

Contact a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer

Whether you are the parents of a young driver charged with DWI or the driver yourself, things can be tense following a DWI charge. That is why a DWI lawyer at Brockton Hunter is available for free consultations. We want to help educate you on your rights and how best to proceed successfully in your case. Call us at (612) 979-1112 and find out how our experience, knowledge, and skill can benefit your case today.