I dare to say - after complaining about the Vikings --- most Minnesotans favorite past-time is hunting. And, like with most extra-circular activities, adult beverages can be part of that enjoyment. However, (in addition to just how smart (or not) trolling the woods with a buzz and a loaded fire-arm might be,) it begs the question: “Can I drink and hunt?”
Under the laws of the State of Minnesota, a person may not take wild game (with a firearm or by archery) if the individual is under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. A person is considered under the influence - much like with a Drunk Driving arrest situation) when the person’s alcohol concentration is (.08) or more; when the person’s alcohol concentration is (.08) or more within two hours of the taking of wild animals; or the person is knowingly under the influence of any chemical compound.
Now, what this maens essentially is that a person needs not be "drunk" in order to be found guilty of hunting under the influence; rather, they need only be under the influence to the extent that it would make it less safe for them to hunt than it would have been had they not been under the influence to any extent. (Get that? Me either, and I'm an experienced Minnesoat Criminal Defense Attorney. But seriously, I have had some experience with individuals who run up against accusation of hunting while under the influence. If you find yourself having to answer such questions and/or charges, you need to get a lawyer involved for the consequences can be long-lasting.)
Criminal Records and Fire-arms
Even for those that do not wish to drink and hunt, your criminal record could prevent you from partaking in this past time. With certain limited exceptions, the following individuals are not eligible to possess a firearm, include those who:
- Arender the age of 18;
- Have been convicted of a crime of violence or a felony-level drug offense;
- Have been charged with a crime of violence;
- Have been convicted in another state of non-felony domestic assault or repeat assault;
- Have been convicted of a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than one year; and
- Are currently charged with a felony punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.
What Should You Do?
You know, if you enjoy hunting - but you've had some problems in the past - be smart about it. Make sure you are eligible to possess a firearm and if you're going to consume any alcohol, be aware of the regulations and the repercussions for failing to abide by the statute. If something has gone terribly awry, and you think you need a lawyer, feel free to call the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 and we can work with you to minimize any unforseen complications.jmr