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Ask a Trooper: Repeat DWI offenders receive longer license revocations

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columns Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
(218) 333-9819 customer support
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Question: Recently, I was arrested for fourth-degree DWI and was later informed by Driver and Vehicle Services that my license would be revoked for one year as a result of the arrest. I am confused, because I had been advised by the officer at the time of the arrest that the revocation period would be for only 90 days. I have had two prior DWI offenses on my record, both 11 years before (outside of 10 years) so I was of the understanding that my prior offenses weren't relevant to my recent arrest. What's the deal?

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Answer: If you read line three of your Notice and Order of Revocation form (under the second check-box section -- lso found in MSS 169a.52 sub 4) it states: "For a person with one qualified prior impaired driving incident within the past 10 years, or two qualified prior impaired driving incidents for a period of not less than one year ..."

This means that once a person has two or more qualified priors on their record, regardless of when they occurred, any future DWI arrests will result in revocation of a minimum of one year.

DVS has verified that this interpretation is accurate. Without really looking into it, many officers also are probably of the belief that the revocation period would have been for 90 days under the described circumstances.

Officers don't deal with all of the administrative DWI issues and so they would not necessarily know all of the applicable issues. I hope this clears it up for you. Remember to plan ahead not to drink and drive and always report those who do.

Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is with the Minnesota State Patrol.

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