Question: My ex-husband was pulled a few months back and charged with a DWI.   Per his report he paid just about $1,000 in fines prior to his court date. 

    In court he was fined another $400 AND THAT WAS IT! He was not ordered to place the “whiskey plates” on his truck.  He had a suspended license for a measly 30 days.

    My question for you: Is this truly all the regulation placed on a person who is arrested for drunk driving?!

    This sort of thing makes my stomach turn flips.  People are not being held accountable for their actions and are given a slap on the wrist for poor decision making skills.  In this day n’ age there is no excuse for driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.

    Answer: In my career, I have investigated far too many crashes where someone was seriously injured or killed as a result of a driver’s decision to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence.    

    In Minnesota, it’s against the law for a person who is under the influence of alcohol, controlled, or hazardous substances to operate a motor vehicle. The severity of the offense increases depending on impairment level and past DWI convictions.

    If convicted of impaired driving, the penalty for a first offense is up to 90 days in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

     If the driver has prior DWI convictions, the penalties increase to 2-7 years in jail and/or fines of $3,000-$14,000.

     Refusal to submit to a chemical test may also result in a fine and jail time.

     Along with possible fines and jail time, a driver's license will be revoked from 3 months - 4 years.  The offender may also lose their license plates and car and their insurance costs will increase.

    For more, go to:
    A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes.

    If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. 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,