Monday, September 26, 2011

Minnesota DWI - Asleep at the Wheel (Explained)

You can imagine that as an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney I get asked a lot of questions from friends and family about how to avoid a Drunk Driving arrest. 

The most common of these often touch on the all too real belief that if they've had too much to drink, and they realize as much while they're driving, the best thing to do is to pull over and just sleep it off. 

In a lot of common sense ways this would seem to make sense; however, as was the case with this poor man from northern Minnesota (link) if the keys to said vehicle are anywhere in your immediate vicinity - you could be arrested and convicted of a Minnesota DWI.

Minnesota's DWI Law - Physical Control

In Minnesota, the law states that you can be charged with Drunk Driving if you have “physical control” over a motor vehicle when you have a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. And, by the looks of things, the courts take a rather expansive view of the that term - physical control.  So that if someone is in a position to even exercise the slightest dominion over their vehicle (and that much difficulty make the vehicle a source of danger) law enforcement is well within its rights to arrest you. 

Granted this interpretation begs all sorts of questions.  Such as: What if someone is merely walking to his or her car in the parking lot of a bar, after they've had too much to drink, with their keys in their pocket and merely intending to get something from inside it; or if someone is just doing some repairs on their hot-rod in the garage or drive-way and enjoying a few 'pops' while doing do --- What kind of liability are these people subject to?

What Should You Do?

There's the common law and there's common sense - and often the two do not always jive.  If you've been arrested for a Minnesota DWI - whether you were driving or not - your next, best move is to contact an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney to learn your rights.  As a colleague of mine is fond of intoning, just because you've been arrested that does not mean you will be convicted.  Talk to someone who knows what they're doing - and learn how to fight for common sense interpretations of the law.

If you need to discuss a DWI arrest contact the Rolloff Law Office.  I have extensive experience, from both sides of the aisle - in assisting individuals charged with Drunk Driving.  Call (612) 234-1165 to set up a free DWI consultation - today.

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