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.