Whiskey plates are the scarlet letters of DWIs. Minnesota is one of only two states that require special registration plates (whiskey plates) after a DWI—the other state is Ohio. The Minnesota legislature passed a new law on July 1, 2021, that says you can remove whiskey plates IF you get ignition interlock in your vehicle. Ignition interlock is a machine...
Did you know that on Cinco de Mayo, you are celebrating the Mexican Army’s defeat over the French at the Battle of Pueblo?! In reality, Cinco De Mayo has become a day to celebrate Mexican heritage, and for many, to consume margaritas. As many of you have learned the hard way, tequila can lead to some poor decision making. After...
You ever have a discussion with a lawyer and hear the words “reasonable suspicion” and “probable cause”? I am sure this left you wondering what exactly does “reasonable suspicion” or “probable cause” even mean? This is a common question, especially in the DWI/DUI context. Both reasonable suspicion and probable cause are used—sometimes interchangeably—when referring to a DWI. However, there is...
There are three levels of DWI in Minnesota—misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor, and felony. How is the level of a DWI determined? Typically, a first-time DWI in Minnesota is classified as a misdemeanor—which means up to 90 days in jail. A second or third offense in 10 years is typically a gross misdemeanor—which means up to one year in jail. However, there...
Driving while impaired (“DWI”), or sometimes referred to as “DUI,” comes with various consequences, including both administrative and criminal. And as with other crimes, the severity of such consequences increase with repeat offenses, which means they are enhanceable crimes. Administrative Consequences Administrative consequences are imposed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. They are imposed shortly after the DWI/DUI arrest...
At different times in one’s life you or someone you know may be negatively affected by alcohol. You are not alone. Understanding the impact of alcohol misuse or abuse — not only on your life but on the lives of those around you — is the first step to getting back on track. Statistics show the impact that alcohol has...
A recent Minnesota Court of Appeals case, Hagerman v. Minnesota, reversed a DWI test refusal conviction for being unconstitutional! The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. In the DWI context, administering a chemical test via breath, blood, or urine is a search. For a chemical test to be valid, police must either obtain a warrant or the test...
Yes, you can be charged with a DWI while sleeping in your parked car. Per Minnesota DWI Statute, it is a crime for any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle while under the influence. Being in “physical control” of the vehicle only requires you to be within proximity of the vehicle controls and...
You may have noticed somebody driving a vehicle that has a license plate that looks different than the typical Minnesota license plate. Rather than loons or some other outdoor scene, these plates are plain black-and-white and many times start with the letter W. You may wonder why they have these plates. The answer is that they likely have these special...
Vehicle forfeiture occurs when a vehicle is used to commit a criminal act, such as driving while intoxicated (DWI). According to Minnesota Statute § 169A.63, in certain DWI cases, the police have the authority to seize and forfeit the vehicle used to commit the criminal act. If the owner does not recover their vehicle, the police have the right to...
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