You may not know it yet, but the State of Minnesota is one of the toughest states on drunk driving. In fact, Minnesota and only three other states allow results of urine testing to be used as evidence against people charged with DWI. This is true despite the reality that urine tests are widely known to be inaccurate indicators of whether a driver was drunk behind the wheel.
What happens during the course of a DWI stop or an attempted DWI stop can have many impacts. In some instances, a person may end up facing charges beyond just DWI charges based on conduct they allegedly engaged in during a stop or an attempted stop.
Search and seizure issues often arise in criminal cases. When police conduct a traffic stop and later search a vehicle, the legal analysis may involve several steps in determining whether police acted lawfully. Dog sniffs are a complicated issue that has been the subject of many appellate decisions in recent years.
When a person is accused of driving while impaired in Minnesota, he or she may not be aware that the state will revoke the person’s driving privilege. While police may provide a notice of revocation, it is important for people to understand that the DWI revocation is handled separately from the criminal charges.
Some people may be surprised to learn how broadly Minnesota driving while impaired statutes apply when it comes to the location of an alleged offense. Some states limit DWI charges to public areas or public roads. In Minnesota, the DWI statutes have broad reach and prosecutors may enforce the laws in non-public areas.
A person does not necessarily have to travel far in a vehicle to face drunk driving charges in Minnesota. In fact, “driving” may be a little confusing for some people when it comes to driving while impaired charges, as the car does not have to move at all to support a charge. The actual DWI statute expands the reach of the law to people who are driving, operating or are deemed to be in physical control of a motor vehicle.
Drivers in Minnesota are likely aware that state law prohibits driving a car while impaired by drugs or alcohol. However, the laws are more expansive when it comes to the type of vehicle that may be involved in a drunk driving case. The general definition of a motor vehicle in the DWI statute discusses any vehicle that is self-propelled, among other terms. The DWI laws include provisions that apply to motorboats, ATVs and snowmobiles.
Minnesota’s laws prohibiting driving while impaired apply to many more substances than alcohol. The DWI statutes include provisions related to controlled substances and hazardous substances. Controlled substances can include illicit drugs or prescription medications.
In the immediate wake of a drunk driving arrest, a person's head might be swimming with the potential consequences. For some people, being able to maintain employment might be a major concern. As we covered in blog post on Jan. 23, some people may face termination at work as the result of a drunk driving conviction, depending on specific workplace policies.
Certain legal problems may follow a person for many years. As long as a criminal offense is on a person's record, it can create many personal and professional challenges. This may be a reality for those who have convicted for driving while intoxicated.