Drunk driving arrests up again in Minnesota for St. Patrick’s Day 2013

It’s no secret that law enforcement authorities significantly step up drunk driving patrols during certain holidays. This year, with St. Patrick’s Day in the rearview mirror, more Minnesotans than ever are facing a drunk driving charge.

Number of St. Patrick’s Day DWI arrests has more than doubled in last five years

According to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety, back in 2008, just 165 DWI arrests were made in connection with the stepped up patrols surrounding the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. But, with the focus on DWI enforcement growing stronger, each of the last five years has seen a growing number of drunk driving arrests made in connection to St. Patrick’s Day.

In 2009 and 2010, the number of St. Patrick’s Day DWI arrests grew to 218 and 225, respectively. By 2011, the number reached 287. In 2012 – when St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Saturday – a stunning 346 suspects were arrested for allegedly driving while intoxicated.

This year, St. Patrick’s Day DWI arrests in Minnesota reached their highest level in more than five years. Preliminary reports put the number of drunk driving arrests over St. Patrick’s Day weekend – March 16 and 17 – at 400.

Talk to a Minnesota DWI defense attorney if you’ve been picked up

If you were one of the Minnesota drivers picked up over St. Patrick’s Day weekend for DWI, it is important to contact a drunk driving defense attorney as soon as possible. Even first time DWIs in Minnesota carry significant penalties, including the loss of your license for up to a year, thousands in fines and other costs, and for some offenders, even jail time. Convicted offenders arrested at a blood alcohol concentration of .16 or above or repeat offenders may also have to submit to the use of an ignition interlock.

Yet, while penalties for drunk driving are stiff in Minnesota, you may have many viable options for building a legal defense and getting charges reduced or dropped. For example, perhaps the police did not have a valid reason to stop your car, did not properly administer sobriety tests or failed to honor your right to consult with an attorney. When law enforcement officers did not adhere to proper procedure during your arrest, you may be able to get key evidence against you thrown out.

The availability of specific legal defenses depends on the unique individual circumstances of your case. If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence, contact a Minnesota DWI attorney today to protect your rights.

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

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
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