Free Consultation. No Fees Until You Collect. Call 24 Hours a Day 1-800-4-RIGHTS
Minnesota Offices

Serving all of Minnesota
Call 1-800-4-RIGHTS

If you’re recovering, we’ll come to you. Or we’ll set up a meeting at one of our convenient office locations:

See all results for ‘
Enter 3 or more characters for full site search

5 Common Questions about Minnesota Drunk Driving Crashes

Drunk driving is a leading cause of car crashes in Minnesota. These crashes can lead to vehicle damage and serious injuries, including death. When this happens, Minnesota law allows injury victims and their families to pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

This guide will answer some common questions about drunk driving collisions in Minnesota. We’ll also point you in the right direction to pursue compensation if a drunk driver injures you.

1. What Constitutes Drunk Driving in Minnesota?

The legal term for drunk driving is “driving while impaired” (DWI). This means a person is considered too intoxicated to operate a motor vehicle safely. The most common application for DWI is when a driver has exceeded the legal limit for blood alcohol content (BAC).

That limit can change based on a few factors:

  • For drivers 21 and over, the legal limit is .08% BAC
  • For drivers under the age of 21, the limit is .00% BAC
  • For drivers operating a commercial vehicle, the limit is .04% BAC

Even if a driver is under the legal limit, they can be charged with a DWI if it can be shown they were impaired. Common indications include:

  • Erratic driving
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion

2. What Should You Do If You’re Injured by a Drunk Driver?

If you are injured in a crash involving a drunk driver, you should report it to the police immediately. (Of course, you should always contact the police after an accident.)

You should also contact your insurance provider to file a claim. Because Minnesota is a no-fault state, most individuals are entitled to personal injury protection coverage regardless of who caused the accident. This protection covers up to $20,000 in medical bills and up to $20,000 in wage loss.

Depending on the severity of your injuries or property damage, you may need to pursue further compensation. In this case, you should contact a Minnesota auto accident attorney. Your attorney will advise you on what steps to take next.

If a drunk driver was involved in the accident, your attorney would likely file a claim with that driver’s insurance company to demand compensation for your losses.

3. What Is the “Dram Shop Law” in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s dram shop law holds businesses that serve alcohol responsible for contributing to a drunk driving crash. Usually, this means that the business either sold alcohol to a patron who was underage or obviously intoxicated.

For example, let’s say a bar sold alcohol to a young woman who was only 19 years old. If that woman left the bar and drove a few blocks before crashing into another vehicle, Minnesota law could hold that bar partially liable for causing the crash. Any person who suffered property damage or injuries from that collision could file a lawsuit against the bar and the other driver.

Even if the driver was over 21, the bar could still be held responsible if the bartender continued to serve her drinks when she was obviously intoxicated.

Businesses typically held accountable under the dram shop law include bars and restaurants. But any commercial establishment that serves alcohol to the public can fall under dram shop laws.

4. Can You File a Personal Injury Claim If the Driver Was Arrested?

Minnesota law generally imposes harsh penalties for drunk drivers. But for their victims, those penalties may not be enough. You might feel a sense of justice knowing that the person who caused your injury is cooling off in jail, but that won’t help cover your medical expenses.

Fortunately, you can pursue compensation even if the drunk driver was also charged with a crime. Civil lawsuits are separate from criminal charges. And you usually won’t need to wait for the outcome of the drunk driver’s criminal case to file for compensation. 

5. What Evidence Will You Need for an Accident Injury Claim?

It’s always wise to gather evidence after a car accident — as long as you can do so safely:

  • Exchange insurance information with the driver(s) involved
  • Write down the identifying details and license plate numbers of all vehicles
  • Take photos of the accident scene and any injuries
  • Speak to witnesses and get their contact information
  • Ask for a copy of the police report

Your attorney will use this information to negotiate a settlement on your behalf or support your claim in court.
 

Get Help from an Experienced Minnesota Car Accident Attorney

If you are injured in an auto accident, you may be entitled to compensation—and we can help you get it.

At SiebenCarey, we’ve helped thousands of injury victims get the financial support they need after an accident. Just contact us, and we can:

  • Explain your rights 
  • Answer all your questions
  • Investigate the details of your crash
  • Strengthen your case
  • Help you recover the full amount of compensation you deserve

Best of all, we work on a contingency fee basis. You won’t owe us a dime unless we win your case.

Click here for your free case evaluation.

Related Posts

Client Reviews

out of 186 reviews
Renee Goneau

SiebenCarey is a great personal injury law firm that really cares about their clients.  Highly recommend!

Carly R.

My boyfriend was hit by a car and while all the attorneys he talked to said he didn't have much chance of a case, SiebenCarey took him on and gave him a fighting chance. He's still recovering, but SiebenCarey is making it a lot easier.

Morgan Petoletti

My husband had an amazing experience with this firm. They listened and took the time to understand our case.

Daniel Ball

Really good professionals, they solved my issues in no time using the most impressive and advanced approach. Really good, highly recommended.

Jazz Smith

SiebenCarey is a professional and dedicated law organization that help accident victim.

St. Paul Local 12

Thanks for everything, your experience paid off BIG!!!

Jenna L. at Insider Pages

I have had nothing but great service with these guys. They are very knowledgable on a wide variety of subjects and topic. They will help you with any case you need!

Jesse Bukal

In need of a personal injury attorney? Well you're if you're reading this you're in the right place. You'd be hard pressed to find more competent attorneys than the ones here at SiebenCarey.

They took my case to trial and an amazing job presenting the facts and fighting for my best interests! Three years ago I was unsure of what my future would bring; now that it's over I can rest a bit easier. With SiebenCarey as my counsel, I believe I had the absolute BEST representation a person could've asked for. I knew that I wanted the absolute best representation when searching for an attorney to handle my case and I most definitely received it.

If you need a personal injury attorney, look no further. Can't recommend highly enough.

Eric Petoletti

Even though I was states away and could only talk on the phone, they listened and did everything that they could to win my case. I felt like I was a part of the family.

Barbara Heinzen

On November 17, 2017 I was involved in a car accident with a friend. A young man ran a red light. Both of us were ambulanced to the nearest hospital. With in three hours I had a friend call Jim Carey's office because they had used them . I had someone by my bedside the very next morning, and Jim Carey and his staff took such good care of me. They really did take the worry off my shoulders. Bottom line, it took about a year and a half and they were with me the entire time... Jim and his staff Angela, Jayne, and Lori, were all amazing. Got back to me fast, answered my questions so I could understand, and Jim would call if I needed to ask him a question. I felt I was the most important client!! If you need someone who will show that they care, you will not go wrong with Jim Carey and his staff.

Award Winning Know Your Rights Attorneys

Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists

8 Certified Civil Trial Law Specialists, Minnesota Bar Association
3 Board Certified Trial Advocates, National Board of Trial Advocacy.

2022 Super Lawyers

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008

2022 Best Lawyers in America©

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008.

2022 U.S. News Best Law Firms

Also awarded in:
2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010

Attorneys of the Year

5 of our attorneys have been recognized as Attorneys of the Year

FREE DOWNLOAD

50%

To help us recommend the best resources for you, please indicate the relevant accident type below:

Step 1 of 2: Case

Please select an answer before proceeding

Please enter your email address below so we can send your download link right away.

Step 2 of 2: Download

Please enter your valid email address so we can send your download link and special printing instructions.

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.

FREE ILLUSTRATED GUIDE

50%

To help us customize our resources for you, please indicate the relevant accident type below:

Step 1 of 2: Accident Type

Please select an answer before proceeding

Please enter your email address below so we can send your download link right away.

Step 2 of 2: Download

Please enter your valid email address so we can send your download link and special printing instructions.

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.

FREE DOWNLOAD!

50%
The Minnesota No-Fault Fact Sheet is a valuable resource for all Minnesotans

Have you been in a recent accident, if so, which type?

Please select an answer before proceeding

Please enter your email address below so we can send your download link right away.

Please enter your valid email address so we can send your download link and special printing instructions.

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.

Had an Accident or Injury?
WE CAN HELP!

  • No risk or obligation. We only collect fees if you win.
  • Free review of your options and potential for success.
  • Trusted by more than 65,000 people just like you since 1952.

Call us 24/7 at 1-800-4-RIGHTS(744487)

Or complete the form

Secure form. Your information is confidential with us.
Please enter the required information above

Would you recommend us?

We are interested in hearing about your experience with SiebenCarey Personal Injury Law.

Would you mind leaving a review? If so, please take a moment to tell us about your experience and also mention the attorney you worked with. Your feedback helps us to improve our services to you and all clients.

Step 1 of 2:

Contact Us

We strive to provide top quality legal and customer service. We're sorry that we didn't meet our own expectations for you - How can we do better?

Please enter the required information above