DWI Insurance Laws in Minnesota

Minnesota DWI laws require a certificate of insurance to reinstate your license, and will result in a rate increase. Read on to learn more about how your car insurance will be affected by getting a DWI in Minnesota.

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A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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Here's what you need to know

  • Minnesota has strict DWI laws that become more severe with each subsequent offense
  • A certificate of insurance must be filed with the state to reinstate your license after a DWI
  • Your car insurance rates will increase significantly after a DWI

Minnesota is a state that takes driving under the influence (DUI or DWI) seriously. According to Minnesota DWI Laws, the penalties for drunk or impaired driving are severe. This includes jail time, loss of license, ignition interlock, and the process to have your license reinstated is difficult. If you are convicted of violating Minnesota drunk driving laws, your Minnesota car insurance will also be affected.

DWI Insurance Laws in Minnesota

In many states, you’ll be required to file for SR-22 car insurance with your insurance company. While Minnesota doesn’t use the SR-22 form, the state does require an Insurance Certificate Form to be filed with the state in order to reinstate your license following a DWI. This form is proof to the state that you are carrying the mandated insurance requirements.

While this is a relatively minor inconvenience, car insurance after a DWI comes with increased rates. After a DWI, insurance companies will view you as a high-risk driver. High-risk car insurance will always cost more than standard car insurance.

According to a Forbes Advisor piece, the average insurance rate increase after a DWI in Minnesota is 95%. This means that if your usual insurance rate is $1,100 per year, you could end up paying $2,145 per year after a DWI. This could affect you for years.

While most insurers will only look back three to five years for driving records, the DWI itself stays on your record for life. And some insurance companies will consider your driving record as far back as ten years when it comes to major offenses like DWIs. This increase will impact both your minimum liability insurance and any collision or comprehensive insurance you might have. 

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Drunk Driving Penalties in Minnesota

Increased insurance rates are not the only consequence of a DWI. According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, Minnesota DWI Laws consider the number of offenses in your lifetime to determine DWI fines, jail time, and license suspension timeframes. The first three offenses are misdemeanors, but the fourth offense is elevated to a felony. 

Any offense is also a felony if it involves significant bodily harm or fatality. Here’s a quick run-down of the penalties for each offense.

First Offense

  • Up to 90 days in jail for a BAC under 0.16, or up to one year with a BAC over 0.16
  • Fines up to $1,000 for BAC under .16, up to $3,000 for BAC over 0.16
  • License suspended up to 90 days for BAC under 0.16, up to one year with BAC over 0.16
  • Possible installation of ignition interlock for restricted driving privileges

Second Offense

  • Up to one year of jail time
  • Up to a $3,000 fine
  • Suspended license for one year for BAC under 0.16, 2 years for BAC over 0.16
  • Impounded plates
  • Forfeiture of vehicle for BAC over 0.16

Third Offense

  • Up to one year of jail time
  • Up to a $3,000 fine
  • Driver’s license canceled
  • Ignition interlock device required with three years of no detected alcohol or drug use for removal
  • Vehicle forfeiture
  • Impounded plates

Fourth Offense

  • Up to seven years of jail time
  • Up to a $14,000 fine
  • Driver’s license canceled
  • Ignition interlock device required with four to five years of no detected alcohol or drug use for removal
  • Vehicle forfeiture 
  • Impounded plates

As you can see, the penalties get more severe with each offense. It should also be noted that refusing testing when pulled over for drunk driving is considered the same as a BAC over 0.16 for each offense level. 

The Bottom Line on DWI Insurance Laws in Minnesota

If you’re convicted of a DWI in Minnesota, there’s nothing you can do to get around the legal consequences. Depending on how many offenses and the severity of the infraction, you’ll see significant penalties.

It’s also not easy to find affordable insurance after a DWI conviction. However, your best option will be to get insurance quotes from as many companies as possible. While all will have rates higher than average following a DWI, by comparing prices you can find the lowest rate possible.  

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