The Fourth of July is a time for celebrations and festivities in communities all across Minnesota. Many families gather to celebrate together over the national holiday. But like any holiday period, Minnesota law enforcement agencies gear up for extra enforcement of Minnesota’s tough drunk driving laws.
Last year brought additional potential consequences in Minnesota DWI cases. Most people in the Twin Cities know that a DWI charge can lead to increased insurance costs. People accused of DWI can expect to see their privilege to drive revoked in Minnesota, although a person can challenge the license revocation in civil court if the person acts promptly.
In addition to the a loss of a person’s privilege to drive under Minnesota’s laws, potential fines and even exposure to time behind bars can arise in the criminal DWI case, if the state obtains a conviction. Last year, Minnesota law added a new potential cost associated with a DWI case-that cost involves the ignition interlock program.
The ignition interlock program applies to repeat DWI offenders, as well as first-time DWI offenders who measure at 0.16 blood alcohol level or greater in an implied consent alcohol test. Second-time DWI offenders and those with the higher BAC reading must install an ignition interlock device on their cars, or face at least one-year without a driver’s license. For people with three or more offenses, the interlock may be necessary for three to six years-or more.
Minnesota authorities say that the Fourth of July has been the deadliest day of the year on Minnesota roads in recent years. The state will definitely have authorities out in force to enforce the strict DWI laws. But it is important to note that a DWI charge is not a finding of guilt, but only an accusation. Anyone facing DWI charges has the right to challenge the allegations in criminal court.
It is equally important to remember that a person can challenge the driver’s license revocation in a separate court case, but there is a limited amount of time to perfect that challenge. It is vital to act promptly after a DWI arrest. An experienced Twin Cities DWI defense and implied consent lawyer can help a person to protect his or her rights in the many facets of a DWI case that can arise in civil and criminal court, if the driver acts promptly and before time runs out.
Source: Brainerd Dispatch, “Fourth of July: Deadliest day of the year on the road,” July 2, 2012