Quick 2019 DWI Law Update
Effective as of August 1, 2019, a few changes have been applied to the DWI statute.
The law has historically been that a person who violates §169A.20, the DWI statute, is guilty of a first-degree DWI if that person: (1) commits the violation within ten years of the first of three-or-more prior DWI incidents; (2) has been previously convicted of a felony DWI; or (3) has previously been convicted of a felony under specific statutes from this state relating to criminal vehicular homicide/injury and substance-related driving offenses causing bodily harm. As of this month, similar convictions from conforming statutes of other states are included in this provision and can lead to a first-degree DWI charge in Minnesota. Meaning, Minnesota can now use out of state DWI convictions to enhance a Minnesota DWI.
An added exception to the DWI law provides that if the driver’s conduct resulted in a designated license revocation but the driver becomes a program participant in the ignition interlock program under §171.306 at any time before the vehicle is forfeited, the forfeiture proceeding is stayed and the vehicle must be returned to the lawful owner. Upon successful completion of the ignition interlock program, the stayed forfeiture proceeding is dismissed.
Furthermore, particular license reinstatement diversion program specifics were added to the law making diversion program components more uniform.