Getting charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or drunk driving can haunt you the rest of your days.
Minnesota Is Very Serious about Drunk Driving..
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Minnesota has been handling it’s drunk driving problem relatively well (“Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Minnesota” (pdf)). An average of only 162 people a year were killed in drunk-driving accidents. This is well below the national average in every age group.
In Minnesota, law enforcement is very aggressive against drunk driving. Rates of drunk driving and alcohol involved fatal crashes has been decreasing every year in recent years.
What is drunk driving in Minnesota?
Officially, Minnesota law defines being intoxicated as having a measured blood alcohol of .08 percent or higher. However, anyone showing any kind of impairment in their driving will be charged. A typical driver will reach intoxication from having two or three drinks an hour. Some drivers will be intoxicated after just one or two drinks in an hour.
Since September, 2005, judges in Texas have been required to order ignition interlocks for all repeat offenders or first-time offenders with blood alcohol level of .02 percent or higher. The state requires all people with drunk driving convictions to have an ignition interlock installed on their vehicles before their driving privileges will be restored.
Enforcement in Minnesota.
Sobriety checkpoints allow police to briefly stop vehicles at specific, highly visible locations to check sobriety. Police may stop all, or a certain proportion of drivers. Sobriety tests including breath tests will be given if police suspect the driver may be intoxicated. In addition police are vigilant and maintain watches along the highways. Intoxicated people will often have trouble maintaining their position in highway lanes.
If you are arrested for drunk driving (after the receiving sobriety tests), you will be tried in a criminal trial. If you are convicted of DUI and you want to get your driving privileges back, you will be faces with some expensive options. Court appearances, fines, and fees are just the beginning for convicted drunk drivers. There is the expense of going to DUI school, getting evaluated for alcoholism, getting treatment if you have problem and getting the interlock device installed on your vehicle.
After you are arrested, you will be driven to the nearest police facility. You will be finger-printed and booked. You may have to spend time in jail to sober up before being issued a summons to appear in court. On your court date, you will appear in a public trial. In evidence, videos of you failing the sobriety test can be publicly shown. Your driver’s license will be suspended. Jail time is mandated in most cases, even for first offenders if you are convicted. If you do not receive jail time, you may receive probation. In that case you will have to pay a monthly fee for the cost of administering and supervising your sentence. You may have to pay for drunk driving school if you intend to get your driver’s license back. Your auto insurance premiums will usually double or triple and you may have to carry the most expensive kind of auto insurance for at least three years.
Penalties for drunk driving.
For a first offense conviction if you had less than .15 percent blood-alcohol level, you may receive a fine of up to $2,000 and/or a jail sentence from 3 days to 3 months. Your driver’s license will be suspended for from 90 days to a year. If you had a blood alcohol level of greater than .15 percent, the fine could increase to $4,000 and the jail term increases to one year.
Second offense DUI convictions mean a $4,000 fine and jail for 30 days to a year. Your license will be suspended up to a year. Third offenses may mean a fine of $10,000 and jail for between two years and 10 years.
Having open alcohol containers or DUI with a child in the car add significantly to sentences. Other charges may come out of your trial. You can be found be found guilty of intoxication assault or manslaughter.
A conviction for DUI will remain on your police report and criminal record for life. You will find that this conviction will alter the course of your career, housing, financial credit and other factors over the long term.
If you are arrested for drunk driving, you will need the services of a competent defense attorney. These are serious criminal charges.
Judith A. Samson, has served clients in the Twin Cities and Western Suburbs for 20 years. She has become known aggressive and effective litigation skills and for her individual approach to representing clients. If you have been arrested on a drunk driving charge, she can provide dedicated advocacy for you. Please contact us to learn more.
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