Blaine Police: Road rage incident leads to felony DWI charges

Authorities filed felony drunk driving charges against a Jordan, Minnesota man Monday in Anoka County, Minnesota. Police in Blaine claim that a driver called 911 to report that another driver was tailgating and trying to pass on the right. The caller claims that he pulled over and the second driver followed suit-and threatened the man who had pulled over. Police claim that the caller said that the tailgating driver smelled of alcohol.

Police responded to the area, eventually arresting the Jordan man on suspicion of DWI. Authorities claim that the man was agitated, and police used a Taser during the traffic stop to subdue the man. Blaine police claim that the man refused to perform any field sobriety tests during the DWI investigation, and did not submit to a roadside preliminary breath test.

Authorities reportedly took the man to a hospital for alcohol testing, but claim that the driver refused to submit any kind of sample for alcohol testing.

Anoka County officials say that the man had prior alcohol related offenses on his record. Authorities say that the man’s driver’s license was previously cancelled. We have discussed the issue of driving after cancellation as inimical to public safety charges in the past. The Jordan man is facing the gross misdemeanor charge in Anoka County. But, authorities are also using the prior drunk driving allegations to enhance the current allegations to include first-degree DWI charges-a felony-level offense.

Minnesota law provides harsh consequences in first-degree DWI cases. A driver convicted of felony DWI can face hefty fines and a lengthy prison sentence. In addition, a driver may face a vehicle forfeiture outside of the criminal case.

The burden is upon the driver to raise any potential challenge to a vehicle forfeiture. The timeline to perfect a vehicle forfeiture challenge may run out before any hearings on the criminal charges are scheduled in court. Waiting for the criminal hearing may be too late to perfect a civil challenge to the vehicle forfeiture.

Source: CBS Minnesota, “Charges: Repeat Drunk Driver Threatens Motorist In Blaine,” April 15, 2013

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

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