Police in Northwestern Minnesota responded to a homeless shelter last week to investigate a report of a man who allegedly caused a disturbance to the home. Moorhead Police claim that the man had relieved himself on the front door and engaged in some other kind of conduct that created a ruckus. While police were en route, authorities say that a YMCA bus was parked in the lot outside the home, with its engine running.
Law enforcement accuses the man of stealing the bus and driving the vehicle while impaired. Police say that two passengers were waiting on the bus when the man jumped aboard. Hose two people got off, as the man hopped behind the wheel and took off, according to police. The man did not travel far. Officials say that the man struck a snowbank while driving around the shelter. The bus got stuck in the snow.
Authorities say that the man ran from the bus and tried to gain entry to a nearby building. Officers claim that the man pounded on the doors. However, police arrived and took the man into custody.
Prosecutors have brought charges against the man, alleging unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, second-degree DWI test refusal and public urination. He was booked into the Clay County Jail after the arrest.
Minnesota law, like most states, relies on the theory that a driver impliedly consents to a DWI breath test by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle if law enforcement has probable cause of alcohol impairment. However, Minnesota’s implied consent and DWI laws make test refusal a crime. The potential consequences of a DWI test refusal charge can be severe.
Generally, a second-degree DWI offense is a gross misdemeanor (a first-degree DWI is a felony level offense). In addition to fines and jail time in the criminal case, the state may seek to forfeit the vehicle (meaning that the state essentially takes ownership of the car). A vehicle forfeiture is handled administratively-outside the criminal case.
A license revocation or cancellation is another administrative event that occurs outside the criminal case. The administrative issues can be challenged, but only if a person acts promptly. A DWI defense lawyer can explain all the moving parts that are involved in a Minnesota DWI case.
Source: The Forum of Fargo Moorhead, “Man arrested in Moorhead after allegedly stealing bus while intoxicated,” Feb. 2, 2013