DWI Rates High During Fall Months [infographic]

As summer draws to a close and the fall months begin, Minnesota has routinely experienced some of the highest DWI rates of the year. An average of nearly 27,000 arrests are made for DWIs annually in Minnesota.

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Staggering Statistics

Of course, driving under the influence happens during all times of the year, but there are definite trends, when it comes to DWI occurrence and arrests. The number of yearly drunk driving arrests has fallen sharply over the last five years, by an estimated 15,000 cases, partly due to increased penalties and more public education. Still, one in four deaths on Minnesota roads is attributed to drunk driving, and law enforcement is on the alert.

Late August represents the peak of drunk driving arrests. September arrest rates generally stay high, especially over the Labor Day weekend, as summer transitions to fall. The rates drop slightly in November, and dramatically increase as December begins and the holiday season approaches. Minnesota also leans toward the high side when it comes to DWI rates compared to other states across the Nation. According to the CDC, 2.4 percent of Minnesota drivers report having gotten behind the wheel after drinking too much, compared to the 1.9 percent national average.

Drunk Driving in Minnesota

In Minnesota, it is against the law to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Law enforcement officials are well aware of the numbers when it comes to drunk driving incidents. Motorists are more likely to encounter officers during peak seasons when they are keeping an eye out for offenders. A blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher could lead to an arrest. Recent updates to the DWI laws in Minnesota toughened penalties, particularly for repeat offenders. No longer is drunk driving considered a civil matter in Minnesota, rather, it is a criminal offense.

A DWI arrest can lead to the loss of a driver’s license, thousands in fees and even jail time. Those arrested with a blood alcohol content recorded at .16 or higher must have an ignition interlock installed or lose driving privileges for at least one year. A DWI attorney in St. Paul can provide counsel to those facing DWI charges in Minnesota. As with any other arrest, those charged may seek a trial and may seek out legal representation to assist with their case.

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

Confidential informants may provide integral information to help build criminal investigations, but how reliable is that information when they are receiving payment for their services? To protect them, state law requires the identity of informants be kept confidential. For those facing criminal charges, however, this creates challenges in questioning the accuracy and validity of the information given at trial.
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.