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What Are Whiskey Plates in Minnesota? DUI, DWI

What Are Whiskey Plates in Minnesota?

2 months ago by Brian
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Some states require a marker that will identify drivers with past DWI convictions. Think of a marker that is easy for many people to identify, like a Scarlet A. Well, in Minnesota, there is a way that everyone can identify drunk drivers – through “whiskey license plates.” If you are facing DUI charges in Minnesota, call JS Defense, P.A., to discuss your defense.

What are whiskey license plates?

Whiskey license plates are the special plates drivers with past DWI convictions use when their license plates have been impounded. Law enforcement will place an impoundment order on the driver’s regular license plates. The impoundment order will be placed on the car that the driver was pulled over in. Even if the driver is not the owner of that car, that is the car that will be issued the whiskey plates.

Effect of whiskey plates

When it comes to whiskey plates,  Minn. Stat. § 169A.60 Subd. 13. Special registration plates., it is more of a public shaming tactic than a safety effort. Drivers who have committed DUI offenses must place these special plates on their vehicles so police officers can easily identify them, which can make them a target for future unjustified stops.

The police are not permitted to pull the drivers over simply because they have these whiskey plates on their cars. Still, police officers don’t always follow the law and are more prone to stop these drivers because of their special plates.

Moreover, if you are driving your child to school or work, everyone will see that you have whiskey plates in your car. You need to avoid this whenever possible.

Unconstitutional issues of Whiskey Plates

One of the most controversial aspects of the whiskey plates is whether the car that the driver was arrested in should be registered with whiskey plates. There are occasions when the car owner may not have known that the intoxicated driver had their vehicle. The driver may have borrowed the car without the owner’s knowledge, or the owner never expected they would drive intoxicated. 

But under the whiskey plate laws, the owner would still be liable and have their car impounded.

Fortunately, there are ways that car owners can challenge impoundment. If the car’s owner was not present at the time of the DUI incident, he or she could request an administrative review of the impoundment. Car owners can also request an administrative review if the driver stole their car and the owner reported it as theft.

Requirements for Whiskey Plates

Judges are more likely to assign whiskey plates to drivers who have committed the following violations:

  1. A first-time DUI offense with a blood alcohol content of .16
  2. A first-time DUI offense that involves a child under 16 in the car
  3. A DUI offense that has happened within ten years of a previous DUI offense
  4. Having more than two DUI offenses within any length of time
  5. Having a DUI offense after license suspension or cancellation

Length of time

Drivers who have been required to carry whiskey plates will have to carry these special plates for a minimum of one year or until the driver’s license is valid again.

Contact JS Defense Woodbury, MN DUI and DWI lawyer

When you are facing DWI charges in the Woodbury area, contact JS Defense online or by phone. Fill out our contact form to schedule your free consultation. Call: 651-362-9426


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