Probation is one of the most common penalties faced by DWI offenders in Minnesota and throughout the country. The purpose behind serving probation after a DWI is to prevent – or at least decrease the possibility- of repeat DWIs or DUIs in the future. Almost every state enforces some form of probation for a DWI charge. The exact conditions, however, depend on state laws.
Minnesota courts and legislature have placed a high level of importance on rehabilitation and alcohol treatment. Once you are placed on supervised probation, you will be facing any number of financial, punitive, and treatment-oriented sanctions.
During the probationary period, a probation officer will be assigned to you, whom you will be required to meet with once or twice a week. This officer will strive to keep you alcohol-free by knowing and regularly questioning your whereabouts. Your probation officer may check in with your school or employer to ensure your obligations are being met.
Some of the primary consequences a DWI offender will have to deal with during the probationary period include fines, suspension of driver’s license, substance abuse classes, random drug testing, participation in the ignition interlock device program, and higher insurance rates.
Other common conditions in a DWI probation in Minnesota are:
- Not using alcohol or non-prescribed drugs
- Having no drunk driving related offenses for the duration of the probationary period
- Obtaining a chemical dependency evaluation and following the recommendations
- Completing long-term monitoring requirements
- Attending a MADD Victim Impact Panel
- Obtaining a psychological assessment and adhering to any recommendations
- Not driving without a valid license
- Not driving without current auto insurance
The length of your probationary period depends on the level of DWI charge or the circumstances surrounding your particular DWI case. For a Fourth Degree DWI, you may be on probation for up to two years. For Third and Second Degree DWIs, the length of probation may be up to six years. For a First Degree Felony DWI, you may face a probation period of up to four years, or the maximum period for which the sentence of imprisonment might have been imposed—whichever of the two is longer.
Probation violation in Minnesota is a serious charge with serious consequences. Examples of probation violations are repeating your initial offense, failing to pay fines, failing to abstain from drugs or alcohol, as well as violating any other term ordered by the judge. Failure to satisfy the set terms and conditions of your probation could possibly lead to a warrant for your arrest.