Minnesota Whiskey Plates

If you’ve been charged with a Minnesota DWI or DUI, the government has likely revoked your driver’s license. If you were charged with a DUI/DWI, and there was at least one aggravating factor, they likely took your license plates as well. Aggravating factors include having a child in the car with you, having an alcohol concentration over .16, and having a prior DUI/DWI offense within the last ten years. During the time period that your plates are impounded, you will be required to drive with W plates on your car. These have come to be known as “whiskey plates.”

One of the most common questions I get from clients charged with a DWI in Minnesota is “does my spouse need whiskey plates?” Often, clients get an angry call from their spouse while the spouse is at the DMV trying to renew their vehicle registration. While they are there, the DMV informs them that their car must be equipped with W plates before they can get back on the road. Because the spouse has not been charged with DUI/DWI, this comes as a shock to most people.

Unfortunately, if your vehicle is subject to plate impoundment and requires W plates, it is likely that your spouse’s vehicle will as well. In fact, the impoundment order extends to every vehicle that is registered or leased in your name. The good news is that the W plates are only required on a spouse’s vehicle for the time period that the offender’s plates are impounded.

There are ways of fighting this. In certain circumstances, it is possible that a spouse or other household member may be able to get their plates back. If you would like to learn more about whether any of those situations apply to you, please contact the attorneys at Leverson Budke, PLLP as soon as possible. Your time-frame to challenge this is short, so don’t delay.  Call us for a FREE consultation at 651-829-3572 today.

One thought on “Does My Spouse Need Whiskey Plates in Minnesota?

  1. Brit Myers

    This is something I never knew and I have lived in Minnesota most of my life. I feel like there are obvious reasons for this and it makes sense both the DUI holder and the spouse would need the plates. Most couples drive both vehicles and are covered on both. Is this the same for motorcycles as well?


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