A Woodbury, Minnesota man was charged with fourth-degree driving while impaired in Ramsey County earlier this month. A Minnesota State Patrol trooper reportedly was investigating an abandoned Pontiac convertible that was found on a grassy area near the end of an off ramp along U.S. 52 last June. The trooper says that the convertible was discovered near the off ramp around 8:40 June 26. Authorities claim that a witness had reported that the two people had been running near the scene of the abandoned car.
The trooper reportedly spotted a man walking in the area and approached to detain the pedestrian. Officials claim that the pedestrian had some keys in his pocket that fit the abandoned Pontiac. The Woodbury man, who was allegedly found walking in the area where two people had been running, now faces misdemeanor DWI charges in Ramsey County.
The trooper claims that the DWI suspect admitted to having one beer earlier in the evening at a gentleman’s establishment in St. Paul. Law enforcement says the man also said that after the wreck he went back to the same lounge and had a shot. The trooper rejected the information, and pursued a DWI investigation. Authorities say that the Woodbury man provided a urine sample around 10:15 that evening. Lab tests came back indicated that the urine sample showed an alcohol level of 0.08 percent, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Officials filed fourth-degree DWI charges against the man January 18 in Ramsey County. The man is scheduled to appear in court March 26. The Pioneer Press claims that the man was convicted more than 10 years ago of a DWI-related offense in a different state. A fourth-degree DWI is a misdemeanor level offense in Minnesota, and the recent criminal complaint does not allege an enhanced charge.
Followers of this blog know that Minnesota law generally looks back 10 years, and allows authorities to enhance new charges based upon qualified prior impaired driving incidents (although the look back period does not necessarily apply to prior felony level offenses). It is important to note, however, that each state has its own laws concerning a DWI or DUI charge.
Similarly, the constitutional and statutory issues may differ from state to state. The differing standards between states can complicate the legal issues involved if Minnesota officials seek to rely upon an out of state event to enhance a DWI charge in Minnesota. A Minneapolis-St. Paul DWI defense lawyer can help assess the issues involved with any DWI charge filed in Minnesota.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Woodbury man claims 12-mile walk; police say DWI,” Emily Gurnon, Jan. 18, 2013