Things You Might Have Not Known About Whiskey Plates in Minnesota


Being convicted of a DWI in Minnesota carries its penalties. The experience can be traumatic, and often one that will follow you for quite some time. One requirement for people convicted with DWIs is to be fitted with a “whiskey plate”. This law can be difficult to maneuver and may feel unfair since it applies to the owner of the car, who may necessarily not be the one who was driving the vehicle while intoxicated. So what exactly are whiskey plates, and how can you get rid of them?

What Whiskey Plates in Minnesota Are

Whiskey plates are a different type of license plate that is used in replacement of your regular plate after a DWI. The past plates will be impounded and replaced with a whiskey plate. This impoundment only applies to the owner of the vehicle, not the driver.

In many cases, the driver is the owner of the vehicle, however, that is not always the case. If the owner of the vehicle was the one who was charged, any other vehicle’s license plate must also be replaced with a whiskey plate. When the owner is innocent, but the vehicle used was theirs, they will only need to have the plate applied to said vehicle.

Displaying a whiskey plate in Minnesota can feel embarrassing, especially for an innocent vehicle owner. However, it is a misdemeanor to drive a car without a whiskey plate when it is required to display one. Luckily, if the owner of the vehicle was not present at the time of the offense, they may be able to send an application for an administrative review of the license plate impoundment.

How License Plate Impoundment works

Under the Minnesota Whiskey Plate laws, a license plate can be impounded immediately upon arrest. The arresting officer will issue a temporary permit that is good for several days if the owner of the vehicle was the one found intoxicated. The permit will be good for forty-five days if they were not the one behind the wheel when arrested. Under these laws, the owner must apply for the whiskey plate.

Are Whiskey Plates Common in Other States?

Only two states have Whiskey Plate Statute. Aside from Minnesota, Ohio is the only other state to require a whiskey plate post DWI conviction.

How Long Does a Whiskey Plate Last?

Whiskey plates must be on the vehicle for at least one year, or until the convicted person receives their license again. After a year has passed since the day of the offense, you may apply for a new license plate.

Have questions about DWI-related convictions or questions about expungement? Contact an experienced Minnesota expungement attorney!

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