In addition to jail, fines, probation and the loss of driving privileges, Minnesota DWI laws also allow for the police to seize the vehicle being driven at the time of the DWI arrest, regardless of whether or not the owner was driving the vehicle. According to Minnesota Statute Section 169A.63 the following situations can result in a vehicle being legally seized and forfeited.
- DWI charge within 10 years of two prior DWI convictions or alcohol-related loss of driver’s license
- DWI test refusal within 10 years of a prior DWI conviction or alcohol-related loss of driver’s license
- DWI charge with a child under 16 years old (and more than 36 months younger than the driver) within 10 years of a prior DWI conviction or alcohol-related loss of driver’s license
- DWI charge within 10 years of a prior DWI conviction or alcohol-related loss of driver’s license and the current blood alcohol level is greater than 0.16%.
- DWI charge or DWI test refusal charge during a time when their driver’s license is under cancellation or is subject to an alcohol restriction, also also known as a B-card.
In the above instances the vehicle can be seized immediately and the vehicle will be kept during the legal proceedings. This includes vehicles that are not owned by the driver. If the owner had no knowledge that the driver would violate the law while using the vehicle, the owner can assert the innocent owner defense against the vehicle forfeiture. The owner must file a claim within 60 days to request the vehicle be returned.
If the driver successfully defends the DWI charges, the forfeiture can be avoided. This is another reason an experienced DWI Attorney is imperative when facing DWI charges.
If you are facing a DWI and/or a vehicle seizure related to DWI charges, Call Anthony M. Grostyan at 612-341-6575 for a free consultation of the DWI charges. Also, I can tell you how to get the seized vehicle back. Call now for a free consultation 612-341-6575.
by Anthony M. Grostyan