Owatonna teen found asleep in car; charged with DWI, drugs, weapons offenses

A teenager is facing drunk driving, drugs and a weapons charge after law enforcement responded to investigate a call about a driver slumped over the wheel of a car. Owatonna Police claim that a 19-year-old was sleeping in his car when police arrived around 2:00 Sunday morning.

An officer says that he had to use his flashlight while pounding on the window to arouse the teen. Police claim the driver had the car keys in his lap, but when awoken by police, authorities say that driver tried to insert the keys back into the ignition.

Law enforcement says that vomit was found near the car and the teen said that he felt sick while driving and pulled over. Authorities claim that he admitted to drinking before driving. Ultimately, the teen was arrested on suspicion of DWI. However, law enforcement searched the car and the teen reportedly will be facing weapons and drug offenses.

Officials say that the teen had an unloaded gun stored in the glove compartment. Police also reportedly seized a magazine during the search. In addition to the weapon, law enforcement says that marijuana, and drug paraphernalia were also found during a search of the vehicle.

The young man reportedly provided a blood sample at an Owatonna hospital; results of that test are not yet available.

Minnesota’s implied consent and DWI laws make test refusal a crime. But the alcohol testing laws essentially allow police to choose the type of test involved, which can be blood, breath or urine. Each type of test must be administered properly, and criminal defense lawyers look at the procedures involved in each type of test. Different challenges have been raised in each type of situation, and different evidentiary issues may arise in individual cases. In early March, we discussed a challenge to the whole idea of a warrantless blood test in a DWI case that is currently before the United States Supreme Court.

Source: Owatonna People’s Press, “Owatonna man charged with weapon possession, DWI,” Al Strain, April 2, 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.