During December, law enforcement agencies all across Minnesota beefed up their enforcement of Minnesota’s laws regarding driving while impaired. Extra patrols were frequently used statewide throughout the holiday season. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Office of Traffic Safety says that 2,573 drivers were arrested on DWI charges during the month of September. A total of 314 law enforcement agencies were involved in the statewide tally.
For local law enforcement agencies, the Minneapolis Police department led the state with 62 DWI arrests. Bloomington and St. Paul Police Departments each reported 52 DWI arrests in December. Most Minnesotans are aware that the legal limit to drive in the state is 0.08 percent blood alcohol concentration. However, many may not know that Minnesota law also makes thing tougher for drivers with higher BAC readings under the tough DWI and implied consent laws.
During 2011, Minnesota increased the length of revocation for drivers who are accused of driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.16 or more. This blog previously discussed the mandatory one-year license revocation for drivers who are accused of a DWI based upon a 0.16 percent or greater BAC reading.
A DWI license revocation can be challenged in court, but the state only allows a limited amount of time to raise the challenge. It is important to file a challenge or speak to an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney as soon as possible after a DWI arrest.
Criminal DWI charges can also be enhanced with higher blood alcohol levels. The DWI laws consider an alcohol concentration reading of 0.20 percent or greater as an aggravating factor that can increase a DWI charge to a more serious offense.
The Minnesota DPS says that more than 100 law enforcement agencies in Minnesota arrested at least one driver with a blood alcohol level at or above 0.20 percent. Twenty agencies made arrests on claims that a driver had an alcohol reading of 0.30 or more in December, and one agency alleges a driver measured 0.39 percent BAC.
Source: Savage Pacer, “State: 2,573 arrested for DWI in December,” Jan. 11, 2012