A Ramsey, Minnesota woman was arrested at her child’s elementary school October 11 on suspicion of driving while impaired. The school principle claims that the woman showed up at the school around 3:45 in the afternoon, smelling of alcohol. The principle called Ramsey Police to investigate.
School officials say that the woman put her 6-year-old child in the car seat before law enforcement arrived, but school personnel detained the woman. When Ramsey Police officers arrived, the woman was given field sobriety tests, which authorities claim were performed poorly.
Law enforcement apparently interrogated the woman and claim she admitted to downing a shot and a 22-ounce beer at a bar before reporting to pick her kid up at the school.
Police say that a preliminary breath test revealed that the woman had a 0.23 percent alcohol level. However, a newspaper account of the incident does not indicate if the woman was offered, or if she submitted to, an evidentiary breath, blood or urine test
The woman was previously convicted of DWI in late September in Anoka County, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Officials accuse the woman of DWI and child endangerment for the allegations at Ramsey Elementary School October 11.
Generally, Minnesota DWI charges are enhanceable offenses. That is, prosecutors can look back ten years for prior convictions, or other qualified impaired driving events to enhance current charges to a higher level of offense. A prior felony DWI conviction is not generally subject to the ten-year look-back period, and can be used to up the ante on new allegations.
Drivers accused of DWI in Minnesota have the right to defend against the state’s allegations, and may also challenge an implied consent license revocation in civil court. However, the timeline is very short to raise a challenge to the revocation.
An impaired driving-related loss of license can be used as an aggravating factor to enhance a later DWI charge. An implied consent license revocation is included as a qualified prior impaired driving incident that can be used as an aggravating factor to enhance a new DWI charge. Other aggravating factors may include an alcohol reading of 0.20 percent BAC or greater, and having a child under the age of 16 in the car, if the child is younger than the driver by three years or more.
Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press, “Ramsey mom tells cops she drank beer and a shot on way to pick up child from school,” Sarah Horner, Oct. 12, 2012