I was arrested for DWI. Why am I being charged with two crimes?

There are a couple of reasons you might see multiple charges on your ticket or complaint after an arrest for DWI. Minnesota, like most states, has two forms of Driving While Impaired. Impaired driving can be proven by blood alcohol content (BAC) — any BAC over .08 is automatically deemed impaired. The second way DWI can be proven is by the officer’s testimony or other evidence of your impairment — regardless of your BAC. This means that you can be convicted of DWI even though your BAC was less than .08. While you can be charged with the two forms of DWI, you can only be convicted and sentenced for one offense.

The second reason you might see multiple DWI charges is that you refused testing. Refusing Minnesota’s Implied Consent testing (the testing at the police station or hospital — not the roadside portable breath test) is a crime in and of itself. So you can be charged with test refusal and DWI. Remember, the State does not need to have BAC evidence to prove that your driving was impaired.

Learn more about Minnesota DWI laws and how the Balmer Law Office helps clients facing DWI charges.