Man accused of DWI after Dinkytown car accident

A weekend car accident in Dinkytown has led to drunk driving charges for a St. Paul, Minnesota man. University of Minnesota Police claim that the 23-year-old drove a sport utility vehicle onto the sidewalk in Dinkytown Saturday night before crashing through a wrought iron fence in front of Burrito Loco. The SUV then reportedly hit the porch in front of a nearby house.

A security guard from the restaurant reportedly ran outside. The guard claims that the man driving the SUV attempted to leave, but the guard detained the driver until U of M Police could arrive. Police claim that when officers arrived and began a pat-search looking for weapons, the man attempted to run off again.

Law enforcement says that the suspect was apprehended and cuffed. Officers apparently grew suspicious that the driver appeared to be under the influence and began an investigation for evidence that the man was driving while impaired.

Law enforcement searched the SUV and claim that three bags were in the center console. Authorities believe that the bags contained a combined total of about 17 grams of what authorities suspect is marijuana. It is not clear from a report in the Minnesota Daily whether or not the man has been charged with any drug-related crime.

During the roadside probe, police claim that the man was unsteady on his feet after the car accident. But authorities did not request field sobriety tests. Police claim that they were afraid the driver would attempt to flee if he was subjected to FSTs. University police also did not give the man a preliminary breath test-officers say that the driver was spitting up blood after the car accident.

The driver was later taken to the hospital, where a blood test was reportedly performed-the results of the test have not been released.

The driver is accused of fourth-degree DWI and is scheduled to appear on the charges April 15. A newspaper account indicates that prosecutors may be considering property damage charges related to the incident. Burrito Loco says that the damage to the fence is in the $8,000 to $10,000 range.

Generally, a person accused of DWI may face a variety of consequences if convicted of the charge (in other posts, this blog has discussed civil consequences that can arise related to a DWI arrest, such as a revocation of driving privileges). Jail time, fines and other provisions may be included in a sentence following a DWI conviction. But it is also important to note that Minnesota law allows a judge to order restitution in cases where property damage has occurred, even where no criminal damage to property charge is filed.

Source: Minnesota Daily, “Drunken driver crashes into B. Loco,” Alexi Gusso and Jake Stark, March 5, 2013

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-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. He 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

Involve a criminal appeal attorney soon after you learn the prosecution is appealing your sentence. Your attorney will walk you through the involving and confusing sentencing guidelines. An attorney's involvement will also help you develop a defense strategy for the appeal.