Minnesota father accused of DWI; Daughters say dad had girls open beers

A Northwestern Minnesota man was arrested last week in Dilworth, Minnesota on suspicion of felony drunk driving. Followers of this blog are aware that Minnesota’s implied consent and driving while impaired statutes include aggravating factors that can bump a drunk driving charge from a misdemeanor up to a higher level offense.

A single aggravating factor, for instance, may increase a first-time DWI offense to a gross misdemeanor charge. Repeat DWI offenders, drivers with high alcohol measurements (0.20 percent blood alcohol concentration or greater), and drivers accused of driving drunk with a child in the car may face enhanced DWI charges.

Like with any DWI allegations, drivers accused of an enhanced DWI charge (including those based upon out-of-state prior drunk driving convictions) should consider speaking with a DWI defense lawyer as soon as possible after an arrest.

In addition to enhanced criminal consequences, a driver may face increased civil penalties attacking the driver’s privilege to drive, and in some enhanced cases, the government may take the vehicle in a forfeiture action. The timeline to challenge an implied consent loss of license or vehicle forfeiture is short and may lapse before an appearance is scheduled in criminal court.

The man arrested in Dilworth, Minnesota last Friday reportedly has three prior DWI convictions on his record within 10 years. Two of the prior convictions are from North Dakota. However, the man is also accused of the current drunk driving charge with his twin 12-year-old daughters riding in the car. Police claim that the driver tested 0.24 percent in an evidentiary breath test at the Clay County Law Enforcement Center after his arrest.

Clay County authorities have charged the 47-year-old Moorhead, Minnesota man with two counts of felony DWI, and two counts of gross misdemeanor child endangerment charges. Police claim that the man’s daughters told law enforcement that their father had been driving at 90- to 100-miles per hour. The girls reportedly claim that the driver had his daughters opening beers for him as he drove the car.

The man was booked into jail. Authorities say that he was released after posting $12,000 bond. A court appearance is scheduled for March 15 on the criminal charges.

Source: The Jamestown Sun, “Man charged with felony drunken driving: Twin daughters tell deputy in DWI arrest father had them open beers as he hit 100 mph,” Emily Welker, March 6, 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.