Minnesota man’s specific felony DUI marks a first in the state

As of July 1 in Minnesota, there is a new illegal drug in the state. It’s a synthetic drug, sold as “bath salts” that mimics the physical effects of other already illegal drugs such as marijuana and LSD. The substance has been outlawed in Minnesota and throughout the county because of the reported dangers it poses to users.

According to a Rosemount police officer, one of those dangers is the potential for driving under the influence. His fear was validated on Sunday, when he arrested a 46-year-old driver for a felony DUI. The driver was not under the influence of alcohol. He passed a breath test. He still faces the serious charges.

How can that be so? Authorities report that the defendant admitted after being pulled over that he was under the influence of bath salts. The synthetic drug allegedly made him jittery but mentally slow when responding to the officer. This was the first time in Minnesota that a driver has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence of a synthetic drug.

This might be the first case of this kind in the state, but for this particular defendant, this is not his first time dealing with DUI charges. The Star Tribune reports that he has been convicted of 10 prior DWIs. This time, he was legally pulled over because witnesses and police saw him veering his blue pickup truck on the night of the arrest.

Because this is the first case of its kind in Minnesota, we will post an update when there are new developments to the story.


Star Tribune: “Rochester driver charged with using synthetic drug,” Joy Powell, 6 Jul. 2011

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

Minnesota’s new marijuana law legalizes marijuana for recreational purposes for adults 21 years or older. The new law makes it unlawful for employers to take action against their employees for off-duty cannabis use. It also prohibits them from refusing to hire an applicant who tests positive for cannabis or requiring applicants to take pre-employment cannabis testing.
Is weed legal in Minnesota? Currently, weed is legal for medical and recreational use in the state. A new Minnesota law legalized weed for recreational use on August 1, 2023. Persons aged 21-years or older may possess or carry a maximum of two ounces of marijuana flower in public.
People arrested or accused of possessing cocaine might ask, “how much coke is a felony?” Possessing controlled substances like cocaine is a felony in Minneapolis, MN. If found with 0 to 3 grams of coke, the crime will be treated as a fifth-degree felony, attracting penalties like $10,000 fines and up to 5 years in jail.