The Free Press, Mankato, MN

August 23, 2013

Ask a Trooper: What are Minnesota's levels for DWI?

By Jacalyn Sticha
Minnesota State Patrol

— A: In Minnesota, there are four levels of DWI.  First degree DWI is a felony which requires three or more

prior impaired driving incidents within 10 years to be charged;  therefore, the current impaired driving

incident would be the fourth or greater. A driver can, also, be charged with a felony DWI if there is

a previous conviction for felony DWI or an impaired driving related criminal vehicular homicide or


A convicted felony offender will receive a mandated sentence; MSS 169A.276 “…shall sentence a person

who is convicted of a (Felony DWI) … to imprisonment for not less than three years, … to pay a fine of

not more than $14,000.”

The court may stay the execution of the three year sentence if a list of probationary requirements are

fulfilled and maintained.  If the convicted offender does not meet the agreed upon responsibilities the

sentence can and will be executed.

Due to a spike in deaths this year, we are projecting around 450 total road deaths – and if historical

trends hold, based on this projection, it is estimated that there will be 140 crash deaths due to impaired


The DWI Enhanced Enforcement Campaign continues through Labor Day across the state with more

than 400 law enforcement agencies participating.