Law enforcement and prosecutors have been cracking down on drunk driving in Minnesota for decades, and recent statistics reveal that they’re unwavering in their efforts.
The state Department of Public Safety reports there were 24,862 arrests for Driving While Under the Influence of alcohol or drugs (DWI) in 2017, or almost 70 drunk driving arrests every day.
For these drivers, the implications of a conviction go beyond fines, jail time, and probation.
A DWI can have serious consequences for your driver’s license, potentially affecting your job and personal life.
Enhanced DWI charges can even result in the forfeiture of your vehicle.
If you’re facing charges, it’s essential to work with a St. Paul, Minnesota DWI lawyer who will protect your interests.
Our lawyers at Arechigo & Stokka, P.A. are dedicated to fighting on behalf of clients in a wide range of criminal matters, including drunk driving cases.
We have knowledge of the strategies that enable you to obtain a favorable outcome, so you can trust our team to explore all of your legal options.
Minnesota’s Drunk Driving Laws
Minnesota’s statutes regarding DWI are similar to other US states in terms of what constitutes drunk driving, the grounds for an arrest, the types of proceedings that these charges trigger, and implied consent.
An overview from a St. Paul, MN DWI lawyer may be helpful.
Basis of a Drunk Driving Arrest in Minnesota
In general, you can be charged with drunk driving under two different circumstances:
- You have a BAC of .08 percent or higher as measured by a breath or other chemical tests, such as a blood or urine test; OR,
- You’re driving under the influence of alcohol to the point where you’re impaired.
You could even be arrested if you actually have a BAC under the legal limit if your driving conduct, statements, actions, and demeanor give police grounds to believe that you’ve consumed an amount of alcohol that affects your capabilities.
Two Proceedings in a DWI Case
Every drunk driving arrest triggers two separate proceedings. One is administered through the Department of Driver Vehicle Services (DVS), and it affects your driver’s license.
This is commonly referred to as the Implied Consent case. Being able to legally drive is a privilege in Minnesota, not a right. Just as DVS can issue you a license, it can take it away if you violate administrative regulations regarding DWI.
A BAC test result of .08 or higher will trigger a revocation of your Minnesota driving privileges.
The second proceeding is a criminal case since drunk driving is against the law.
If convicted of a St. Paul DWI, you face criminal penalties described below.