What is Implied Consent?

Under Minnesota’s implied consent law—Minnesota Statutes §169A.50-53—a person loses his/her driver’s license after being charged with DWI. This is known as a driver’s license revocation. These statutes are available for anybody to read here.
The revocation length depends on the severity of the underlying offense and the person’s criminal record.

  • Length of Driver’s License Revocation

    There are three instances when a peace officer may revoke somebody’s driver’s license pursuant to the Minnesota implied consent law:

    1. After a peace officer determines a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more while the driver was driving, operating, or was in physical control of a motor vehicle;
    2. After a peace officer certifies probable cause existed to believe the driver had been driving, operating, or in physical control of a motor vehicle and detected a presence of certain controlled substances; or
    3. When a driver refuses an officer’s request for a chemical test.

    In the first two instances (test results indicate evidence of an alcohol concentration of .08 or more or another controlled substance), the revocation may last:

    1. Ninety (90) days, or, if the test results indicate an alcohol concentration of twice the legal limit or more (0.16), then not less than one (1) year;
    2. 180 days if the person is under the age of 21. However, if the person is under 21 and the test results indicates an alcohol concentration of twice the legal limit (0.16) or more, then the revocation may last for one (1) year;
    3. One (1) year for a person with a prior DWI or implied consent-related revocation within the last ten years OR two (2) impaired driving incidents within one year. However, if the test results indicate an alcohol concentration of twice the legal limit or more (0.16), then the revocation may last for two (2) years.
    4. Three (3) years for a person with two qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years, or three qualified prior impaired driving incidents.
    5. Four (4) years for a person with three qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years; and
    6. Six (6) years for a person with four or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents.

    In the third instance (test refusal), the revocation may last:

    1. One (1) year for a person with no qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years;
    2. One (1) year for a person under the age of 21 years and with no qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years;
    3. Two (2) years for a person with one qualified prior impaired driving incident within the past ten years, or two qualified prior impaired driving incidents;
    4. Three (3) years for a person with two qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years, or three qualified prior impaired driving incidents;
    5. Four (4) years for a person with three qualified prior impaired driving incidents within the past ten years; and
    6. Six (6) years for a person with four or more qualified prior impaired driving incidents.

  • Challenging the Driver’s License Revocation

    It is imperative to challenge the driver’s license revocation in these instances, as the collateral consequences can be more damaging than the immediate consequences. Not only will a driver suffer the loss of his/her license, but the driver may also see an increase in insurance premiums. Additionally, a sustained driver’s license revocation on a driving record may be used to enhance future DWI charges or implied consent revocations.

    In order to challenge the implied consent driver’s license revocation, the driver must file a petition for judicial review with the trial court within thirty (30) days of receiving a notice and order of revocation. Failure to file a petition for judicial review may result in waiving your ability to challenge the driver’s license revocation.

  • Arguing the Driver’s License Revocation

    Finding the right Minnesota criminal lawyer is important to maximize the success of getting your license back. A Minnesota criminal defense attorney can use specific arguments and strategies to persuade the judge to rescind the driver’s license revocation. For example, the peace officer must have probable cause to request the driver to submit to a chemical test. Failure to establish probable cause must result in a rescission of the driver’s license revocation. When your ability to drive is on the line, don’t take a chance with your defense. Hire the right defense attorney who understands the system and isn’t afraid to fight for your rights.

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