Minnetonka man arrested at Ridgedale, charged with felony DWI test refusal

Minnetonka Police say that security officers reportedly a suspected intoxicated man walking through Ridgedale Mall recently. The security officers reportedly told police that the man was wandering through the mall looking for his girlfriend. The security guard reportedly told the man who was in the mall that he would keep an eye out for the man’s girlfriend. But the guard claims the man left the building.

Minnetonka Police responded to Ridgedale. Apparently, the officers decided to follow the man in the parking lot. They say the man got into a car and started the engine. That’s when the officers decided to approach the car. Law enforcement claims that the man shut off the engine.

Officers reportedly had the man step out of the vehicle and commanded him to perform field sobriety tests. Then the police placed the man under arrest for driving while impaired. Police claim that the man refused to take an implied consent alcohol test.

Generally, Minnesota law prohibits DWI test refusal, and a test refusal is a crime. Test refusal starts out as a gross misdemeanor offense for people with no prior DWI convictions, or other qualified impaired driving events. A prior implied consent loss of driving privileges, for instance, is a qualified impaired driving event. A first-time DWI offense with a blood alcohol reading of 0.08 percent to 0.20 percent is generally a misdemeanor offense, if no other aggravating factors are alleged.

For the Minnetonka man, however, matters became much more severe when the police looked at the man’s prior history. Law enforcement and prosecutors claim that the man has three prior DWI convictions on his record, dating from 2010 and 2011. The 2011 DWI conviction reportedly is for a felony DWI offense.

DWI charges are enhanceable offences in Minnesota. Due to his prior record the man now faces first-degree DWI charges. The man was booked into the Hennepin County Jail on suspicion of felony DWI, with bond set at $60,000. His next court appearance is reportedly scheduled for August 14.

Source: Minnetonka Patch, “Minnetonka Man Refuses Breath Test After Wandering at Ridgedale,” Betsy Sundquist, Aug. 2, 2012

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.

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