Fewer people getting arrested for DUI in Minnesota

In early December, a Minnesota woman rear-ended a vehicle with a 66-year-old man and woman inside. According to KVSC News, the couple in the vehicle were taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. It was alleged that the woman blew a 0.207 on an alcohol breath test machine, well above the 0.08 legal limit. She was arrested and charged with second-degree DUI, criminal vehicular operation and texting while driving.

While this woman will be in need of a DWI lawyer Minneapolis, law enforcement officials report that fewer and fewer people in the state do.

The decline in DUI

The Minnesota State Patrol reports that in 2013, 25,719 people were arrested on charges of driving under the influence, which is down from a two-decade high of more than 41,000 arrests in 2006. The agency notes that number is the lowest in the state in recent history. Additionally, CBS Minnesota reports that 21 percent fewer people were arrested in 2014 than in 2013. Law enforcement officials credit the drop in numbers to changing attitudes about driving while impaired, as well as a greater focus on prevention.

Penalties of DUI

Despite the drop, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that an average of 70 people a day are still getting arrested for DUI. As a DWI lawyer in Minneapolis knows, there are harsh penalties associated with a drunk driving conviction, such as the following:

  • First conviction – Can result in jail time of up to 90 days as well as a $1,000 fine and a license suspension of as long as 90 days
  • Second conviction – Can result in jail time of up to a year, a $3,000 fine and a license suspension of up to 180 days
  • Third conviction – Can result in jail time of up to a year and a $3,000 fine with a minimum one-year license suspension
  • Fourth conviction – Can result in seven years in jail, fines of $14,000 and a license suspension of up to four years

Each of these offenses comes with mandatory minimum sentences as well, which may include community service or serving time in a workhouse. An additional consequence of a drunk driving charges conviction is that insurance rates may triple. What’s more, a license revocation, even for those found not guilty of the charges, can stay on a driving record permanently.

Drivers should be aware that refusing to take a breath test has consequences as well. In Minnesota, a breath test refusal will automatically result in a one-year license revocation, according to the state’s implied consent law. People who are facing drunk driving charges should immediately consult with a DWI lawyer in Minneapolis.

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.

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

Getting falsely accused of domestic violence in Minnesota may put you at risk of losing your job, custody of your children, or even your home. You may face criminal charges and the accusation may damage your reputation in the community, as people will now view you as an abuser. False domestic violence accusations often happen when couples are in a contentious relationship with a risk of divorce.
The top reasons for license suspension in Minnesota include driving under the influence of alcohol, repeated traffic violations, and failure to appear in court or pay fines. Failure to pay child support, criminal convictions and felonies, medical conditions/disabilities, and drag racing can also lead to license suspension. The suspension takes away your driving privileges, preventing you from driving legally.
Motorists arrested for allegedly driving while impaired might wonder, “Can you refuse a breathalyzer?” In Minnesota, the implied consent law requires a person licensed to drive, control, or operate a vehicle to agree to a chemical test to check for alcohol or other intoxicants in that person’s body. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer or another chemical test is a crime, often charged as a gross misdemeanor.