Law enforcement in Eagan claims that the driver of a car nearly ran a red light recently. Police claim that the man had just left a bar, and an officer observed the car at the intersection. Instead of running through the intersection, police say the driver moved over and made a right hand turn. The police officer followed the car and claims the wheel crossed over the fog line several times.
The officer says that the driving conduct served as the basis for a traffic stop. Generally in Minnesota, law enforcement cannot just pull over a driver on a whim. If a traffic stop leads to charges, criminal defense lawyers seek to hold the government accountable to the Constitution.
But the law does not necessarily set a difficult standard for conducting a traffic stop-a broken tail light, weaving over the fog line, or centerline of the road, and many other minor traffic or vehicle violations– may be written in a police report that involves allegations that have been expanded from the original basis of a stop to other offenses, such as a drunk driving charge.
In the recent events reported in Eagan, the officer ultimately arrested the driver on suspicion of felony driving while impaired, and gross misdemeanor driving after cancellation-inimical to public safety charges.
The officer claims that during the traffic stop, the driver smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech, common features noted in a DWI arrest report. When the cop ran the driver’s license, authorities say the report showed three prior DWI convictions within 10 years, and the man’s license had allegedly been cancelled.
Police claim the driver admitted to being drunk. The man was given a preliminary breath test along the roadside, which police say exceeded the legal limit. The man was arrested and taken to the Eagan Police Department for further processing.
DAC-IPS charges have been previously discussed on this blog. When the state cancels a license based upon too many DWIs, the state identifies the cancellation as DAC-IPS.
A person accused of any level of DWI charge in Minnesota has the right to defend against the state’s allegations in the criminal court. But it is also important to note that challenges may also be made to many of the administrative consequences that can flow from a DWI arrest. However, the time line to perfect such a challenge is short. A Minneapolis and St. Paul DWI defense lawyer can explain the various consequences and defenses that may be available in an individual case.
Source: CBS Minnesota WCCO, “Police: Repeat Drunk Driver Arrested For DUI Near Bar,” Nov. 5, 2012