Subdivision 1. Violation; when petty misdemeanor enhanced to misdemeanor. Unless otherwise declared in this chapter with respect to particular offenses, it is a petty misdemeanor for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required by this chapter; except that:
(1) a violation which is committed in a manner or under circumstances so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property; or
(2) exclusive of violations relating to the standing or parking of an unattended vehicle, a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, classified therein as a petty misdemeanor, when preceded by two or more petty misdemeanor convictions within the immediate preceding 12-month period;
is a misdemeanor to which the provisions of subdivision 2 shall not apply.
Subd. 2. Petty misdemeanor penalty; no jury trial. A person charged with a petty misdemeanor is not entitled to a jury trial but shall be tried by a judge without a jury. If convicted, the person is not subject to imprisonment but shall be punished by a fine of not more than $300.
Subd. 3. Deleted as obsolete in St.2000.
Subd. 4. Driver's record. When a person is arrested for a violation of any provision of this chapter, or a violation of any provision of a city ordinance regulating traffic, the court before whom the matter is heard shall determine the driver's record of the person from the commissioner of public safety before pronouncing sentence and the expense incident to the procurement of this information is taxable as costs upon the conviction.
Subd. 5. Driver improvement clinic; attendance. In conjunction with or in lieu of other penalties provided by law for violation of this chapter or a municipal ordinance enacted in conformance thereto, the trial court may in its judgment of conviction order the convicted person to attend and satisfactorily complete a course of study at an approved driver improvement clinic or youth-oriented driver improvement clinic. The commissioner of public safety may, upon the motion of the commissioner of public safety or upon recommendation of the court, suspend, for a period of not to exceed 30 days, the operator's license, provisional license, permit, or nonresident operating privilege of any person who fails or refuses to comply with an order to attend an approved driver improvement clinic or youth-oriented driver improvement clinic. The requirement of attendance at an approved driver improvement clinic or youth-oriented driver improvement clinic is not a fine, imprisonment, or sentence within the meaning of section 609.02 . The court may not order a convicted person to attend any driver improvement clinic or youth-oriented driver improvement clinic which is located more than 35 miles from the person's residence. For the purposes of this section “an approved driver improvement clinic or youth-oriented driver improvement clinic” means a clinic whose curriculum and mode of instruction conform to standards promulgated by the commissioner of public safety.
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