Ask a trooper: What are the legal ramifications of driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle

Q: I was wondering if you could let me know what the legal ramifications are if someone is stopped for drinking with a child in a vehicle.

A:  If a driver is arrested for “driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs” and has a child in the vehicle, it would enhance the violation.

•First offense DWI under a 0.20: 90 days in jail and/or $1,000 fine.

•First offense DWI under a 0.20 with a child: 1 year in jail and/or $3,000 fine.

•First offense DWI over a 0.20: 1 year in jail and/or $3,000 fine.

•First offense DWI over a 0.20 with a child: 1 year in jail and/or $3,000 fine – vehicle forfeited

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.

Minnesota’s enhanced DWI enforcement and education efforts have been factors in the continued reduction of alcohol-related deaths. Still, impaired driving remains a serious threat, accounting for one-third of the state’s total road deaths each year. There were 131 alcohol-impaired crash deaths in 2012, while nearly 30,000 motorists were arrested for DWI. One in seven Minnesota drivers has a DWI on record.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205.  You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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