If you are convicted of a third DWI in Minnesota within a period of 10 years or are a DWI offender under the age of 19 with a prior conviction for DUI, state law requires you to submit to long-term DWI monitoring as long as there is a probationary period and a stayed or suspended jail time.
In Minnesota, almost all cases of DWI generally have at least some suspended jail time in exchange for probation that lasts as long as the court directs within the guidelines allowed by state law. Therefore, you must fulfill the given probation terms, or else you must return to jail to complete your original jail sentence. If the court deems it necessary, long-term monitoring may be required – even if time has already been spent behind bars.
There are numerous types of long-term monitoring in the state, and these are usually dependent on the specific Minnesota county in which the conviction takes place, the county’s available resources, and what the court feels is appropriate for the situation. Some examples of these monitoring programs are:
- An alcohol monitoring system that requires an individual to blow into a breath test machine at pre-determined times, three times a day.
- A SCRAM bracelet (aka: ankle monitor) worn on an individual’s ankle that repeatedly vibrates on and off throughout the day while it measures blood alcohol concentration. This electronic monitoring bracelet must be brought to the probation department on a regular basis so the results can be downloaded.
- Face-to-face meetings with probation officers throughout the probation period. Failure to attend these meetings may result in a probation violation.
- Random urine testing.
Being sentenced to long-term monitoring means being required to participate in an electronic alcohol monitoring program for a minimum of 30 days during every year of your probation. If you are on probation for three years, for example, then you will be required to have an electronic alcohol monitor every year for three years. Although the monitoring period is a minimum of 30 days, Minnesota courts can extend this time period as deemed necessary. The requirement of long-term monitoring is generally put in place apart from jail time, fines, and chemical dependency evaluations stated by the court as part of an individual’s DWI sentence.
If you have been charged with a DWI, it is very important that you contact an experienced attorney that concentrates in the area of drunk driving defense. A seasoned attorney can work on your behalf to negotiate the potential duration and terms of your probation so as to avoid any potentials pitfalls down the road.