New Minnesota drunk driving law takes effect, Part II

As we discussed in our previous post, using an ignition interlock device can now help those who are convicted of drunk driving in Minnesota avoid having their licenses revoked. These devices have been available in Minnesota under a pilot program since 2009. 1,900 people are currently using them. Of that number, only four people have been charged with DWI since the ignition interlock device was installed.

In fact, the ignition interlock device has proved to be good news for at least some Minnesota drivers who were convicted of drunken driving. One Minnesota man, who had three previous DWI convictions, has been using the device for the past year. If he refused to use the device, his license would have been revoked for two years.

This Minnesota driver says that it did take him some time to get used to using the device. However, after having used it for so long, blowing into the tube has become a habit. He says that he plans to remove the device from his vehicle once the required year is over, but not because he did not think it was helpful. Indeed, he says he will always remember this experience of learning to drive while sober. In fact, he would consider continuing to use the device, but it is prohibitively expensive.

Being able to drive to work or school for most people is a necessity. A license suspension or revocation can affect a person’s ability to earn an income and support a family. In that way, the new law may actually be very helpful to people who are convicted of DWI.

Source: Marshall Independent, “Ignition device added tool to curb drunken driving,” Amy Forliti, 5 July 2011

Max Keller has won countless jury trial cases involving misdemeanors and felonies, sex crimes, and 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. Max is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

Years of Experience: Approx. 20 years
Minnesota Registration Status: Active
Bar & Court Admissions: State of Minnesota Minnesota State Court Minnesota Federal Court 8th Circuit Federal Court of Appeals State of Maryland

What to Do If You Have Been Charged with a Criminal Offense

Stay calm and compose after getting accused of a crime but not charged in Minneapolis, MN. Do not discuss the facts of your case with anyone, including your relatives and family members. Hire a criminal defense attorney with a demonstrated record of winning cases like yours. Your attorney will discuss your rights, guide you on how to cooperate with law enforcement within the legal boundaries, and build a solid defense strategy to fight the charges you could face in the future.
Expungement and sealing of records in Minnesota affect how your criminal history appears to government agencies and the public. The main difference between the two legal actions is that expungement permanently removes past arrests, criminal charges, or convictions from private and public databases, while sealing hides the criminal record from the public. Courts, government entities, and law enforcement agencies can access sealed criminal records.
Minnesota recently passed a public safety bill that brings sweeping changes to the state’s juvenile justice system. While minors sometimes run afoul of the law, the juvenile justice system seeks to account for the differences between children and adults. Therefore, while the penalties for adults convicted of crimes focus on punishment, those for juveniles are aimed at diversion and restorative practices.