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As of June 1, Minnesotans can return to their favorite restaurants and bars – in an outdoor seating capacity. While indoor dining and service is still restricted in the state, this next step in Gov. Tim Walz’s plan to reopen the state after COVID-19  is among the early measures that will eventually lead to broader openings. The governor has decided to move forward with his plan despite unrest and rioting in response to the George Floyd incident in Minneapolis. More people and police out on the streets means a higher chance for a DWI arrest. 

After a long two months of COVID-19 social distancing and self-isolation, many people are looking forward to getting out and stretching their legs, spending time with friends, and, let’s face it, just being out of the house.

As bars reopen for business and welcome patrons back, bear in mind that law enforcement officers will be keeping an eye out for motorists who appear to be driving while impaired. They are especially diligent right now with the rioting happening and all the chaos. 

When it comes to a Minnesota DWI arrest, motorists need to understand their rights when an officer starts asking questions or making demands during a traffic stop. In other words, you are in charge of your rights, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you are aware of them. 

Best Minneapolis DWI Attorney 

If you are facing a DWI arrest in the Twin Cities or elsewhere, call the Minneapolis DWI law firm Gerald Miller, P.A. Our experienced Minnesota DWI arrest attorney will fight for your rights and help you understand the entire legal process. We work tirelessly to bring our clients the best outcome to their case possible – and we do it with kindness, compassion, and an understanding of what’s at stake. Give Minneapolis DWI arrest law firm at Gerald Miller, P.A. a call at 612-440-3867 as soon as possible after your arrest. Your first DWI arrest consultation is free.

Minnesota’s DWI law states that is illegal to to drive, operate, or be in physical control of any motor vehicle anywhere in the state while: 

  • under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or an intoxicating substance (when the person knows, or has reason to know, that the substance has the capacity to cause impairment), or any combination of these; 
  • having an alcohol concentration (AC) of .08 or more at the time or within two hours of doing so;  
  • having any amount or the metabolites of a schedule I or II controlled substance, other than marijuana, in the body; or  
  • if the vehicle is a commercial motor vehicle, having an AC of .04 or more at the time or within two hours of doing so.

The crime of driving while impaired also applies to motorboats in operation, snowmobiles, all terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles, and off-road vehicles. Keep in mind that in Minnesota, a motorist can be arrested and charged with driving while impaired even if he or she thought she was legally abiding by the law and has a blood alcohol content that is lower than the legal limit of 0.08 percent, but is showing signs of impairment.

According to Minnesota law, police officers are given leeway to make a judgement call during a traffic stop. Any law enforcement official in the state of Minnesota can make a DWI arrest if he or she appears to be driving under the influence of alcohol, or driving while impaired by alcohol. Under Minnesota law, there is one way to be charged with a DWI, if you have an alcohol concentration at or above a .08. But the same statute allows the state to prosecute someone without a test result over the legal limit if they are “under the influence.”  

Minnesota has four levels of DWI offenses and punishments:

  • Fourth Degree DWI is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 90 days of jail and a $1,000 fine.
  • Third Degree DWI is a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of jail and a $3,000 fine
  • Second Degree DWI is also a gross misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of jail and a $3,000 fine 
  • First Degree DWI is a felony, punishable by up to seven years’ imprisonment and a $14,000 fine 

Misdemeanors aside, a DWI becomes a felony-level offense (First Degree) if the motorist has:

  • Three prior DWIs that occurred within the past 10 years
  • A prior felony DWI, or
  • A prior felony vehicular homicide or vehicular injury conviction that involved alcohol or drugs.

Upon a lawful arrest for DWI, Minnesota statute also makes it a crime to refuse to take a breath alcohol test. This offense is called an implied consent or test refusal crime and is treated like a DWI conviction. When it comes to a Minnesota Felony DWI arrest, motorists need to understand their rights when an officer starts asking questions or making demands during a traffic stop. In other words, you are in charge of your rights, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you are aware of them. 

If you’re facing a DWI arrest in Minnesota, contact the criminal defense team of Gerald Miller, P.A. We handle all kinds of cases, but DWI law is our focus. With a BAC under .08, you may be able to get your charges reduced or dismissed. Give us a call at 612-405-5522 to schedule a free case consultation. We are experienced in DWI arrests. We’re here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to fight for your rights and bring you the best outcome possible.

The COVID-19 pandemic – and now the community unrest and rioting – has changed life for all of us, and we are all looking for ways to regain some sense of normalcy. If you are planning on heading out to your favorite restaurant and/or bar soon, use proper social distancing measures and most of all be safe – and smart. We’ll get through this together, DWI arrest or not. 

About Gerald Miller Law Firm 

A drunk driving citation in Minnesota is known as a DWI, which stands for driving while impaired. Many states refer to the charge as a DUI, short for diving under the influence.

A Minnesota BWI stands for boating while intoxicated. 

Regardless of what authorities call it, a police officer can arrest someone on suspicion of DWI even if he or she hasn’t been drinking. In Minnesota, “impaired” can be applied to a person who is taking legal prescription drugs or other controlled substances. It’s all up to the discretion of the arresting officer.

Sound like you or someone you know? Contact the experienced Minnesota DWI and criminal defense attorneys Gerald Miller Law Firm. Our expert team will look at your case and determine the best course of action. We will guide you through the process, working toward a positive outcome no matter the circumstances of the arrest. 

We also are experienced in defending assault, domestic assault, drug charges, probation violations, disorderly conduct, felony crimes, and more. 

We are often asked, “Should I contest this case?” Yes. You should, absolutely, positively 100 percent of the time. Every arrest is different; few are open and shut cases. We look at every aspect of the case, from time of the arrest to the officer’s actions to the accuracy of your Breath test. There is always hope.

What makes Gerald Miller different from other Minnesota criminal defense lawyers?

The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide – the team can defend you on traffic citations, drug charges, theft, weapons charges, probation and parole violations and more – but they have specialized in DWIs for decades. A DWI affects your driving ability, your finances and your professional reputation. Don’t let one mistake hinder a promising future.

Call the attorneys at Gerald Miller today at 612-440-4610. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind.

You can email us here. We can also be reached on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

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