Minnesota state law enables the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) to place certain restrictions on a driver’s license in order to ensure the safe operation of motor vehicles. The motivation behind this law is to protect both the driver and the public at large. A restricted driver’s license in Minnesota is called a “B-card.” The rules and regulations for obtaining and maintaining a restricted B-card driver’s license is determined by DPS administrative rules, not by Minnesota state law. However, Minnesota state law is the power that gives the DPS the authority to set the B-card rules and regulations.
A driver whose driving privileges have been revoked can apply for a restricted B-card driver’s license if they first meet two criteria. First, they must successfully complete an alcohol treatment and rehabilitation program. Second, they must swear in writing that they will never again consume alcohol under any circumstances. To emphasize, this is total abstinence with absolutely no exceptions. A driver who holds a B-card must refrain from any alcohol consumption, not just when driving. This includes abstinence from consuming alcohol in religious rituals and for medical purposes.
If a driver with a B-card restricted driver’s license is found to drink alcohol under any circumstances, his or her restricted B-card driver’s license will be immediately suspended. However, it should be noted that the mere act of consuming alcohol after having been issued a B-card is not considered a crime unless the person is operating a motor vehicle at the time he or she is intoxicated. If a B-card holder is driving while intoxicated, it is considered a gross misdemeanor. To establish another restricted B-card driver’s license, the person must gain another rehabilitation.
The DPS has established minimum periods of time to regain a rehabilitation in which time total abstinence of alcohol must be proven. These minimum periods of time are as follows:
– First rehabilitation: one year
– Second rehabilitation: three years
– Third rehabilitation and subsequent rehabilitations: six years
To learn more you can also go to our DWI Resource Center.