If you’ve recently moved to the Twin Cities area or are going to be traveling through the Land of 10,000 Lakes, be sure you know the laws because alcohol-related offenses are not taken lightly in the beautiful state of Minnesota. If you find yourself in legal trouble, be sure to contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away as you will need your rights explained to you, and you will need legal representation for alcohol-related offenses, especially DUI.
Purchase and Sale of Alcohol in Minnesota
In Minnesota, alcoholic beverages can be purchased in retail package stores, but some areas only allow sales from state-owned liquor stores. Beer and wine can be bought and sold in convenience and grocery stores in areas where state-owned stores are not mandatory. In Minnesota, alcohol is sold from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Saturday, but there are no Sunday alcohol sales in stores. Alcohol may be served at bars and restaurants seven days a week starting at 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 a.m.
The legal drinking age is 21 in Minnesota, but you can work as a server in a restaurant or as a bartender at the age of 18; you may sell alcohol in a liquor store or retail store at age 18, also.
Open Containers in Minnesota
As in most states, open containers are not permitted anywhere inside the vehicle except the trunk. If you leave a party with a bottle of wine or hard liquor, the cap must be on and the bottle must be in the trunk of the vehicle.
DUI in Minnesota
In Minnesota, you can be convicted of “per se intoxication” if a blood or urine tests indicates your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or higher. This means that the state needs no further evidence in order to convict a driver of DUI.
‘Zero tolerance laws” target underage drivers and means that you cannot have any alcohol in your system whatsoever. Even if you test at 0.01 in Minnesota, you can be charged with a DUI if you are under the age of 21.
Drivers with a BAC of 0.20 percent or higher or those who refuse to comply with blood or urine tests may be subject to even harsher penalties than those who blog test under 0.20 percent BAC.
A first-time DWI/DUI is a misdemeanor offense, and those who have complied with testing, have no prior impaired driving incidents within the last 10 years, have no aggravating factors and test less than .20 may be charged with a 4th degree DWI. Even first-time offenders, however, may spend up to 90 days in jail and face a $1,000 fine. If the punishment for a misdemeanor offense is so severe, just think how much more serious the penalties get on the second and subsequent DUI/DWI convictions.
If you have been charged with a DUI/DWI or some other alcohol-related offense in Minnesota, you must contact a Minnesota criminal defense attorney right away. You will need your rights explained to you and you will need legal representation immediately following your arrest.