Monday, January 7, 2013

Stopped For a Minnesota DWI? (Explained)

As I am sure you're aware --- Minnesota Police Officer are focused on DWI enforcement  - often to the exclusion of all other offenses.  So... what does that mean for you, right?

Everyone knows weekends mean more celebrations... going out, etc, and that means more police on the roads. It's no secret -- the news even reports on it. So how do you stay out of trouble?

The first and best way to avoid a Drunk Driving Arrest --- and a call to an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney is, of course, to avoid driving while impaired. You can:

Use a designated driver.
Call a commercial designated driver program if you have had a few too many (in the Twin Cities, services like Drink and Drive Intelligently (651-338-1425) or Dry Drivers (651-491-9363) provide you AND your car a ride home). 

Know your limits

B.A.C. Calculators can help you estimate whether you would fail a breathalyzer. 

Be safe.
Failing that, what happens if you get pulled over for Driving Under the Influence? 

What should you do, and what should you not do?


  • DO be polite and courteous with police. You will NEVER help yourself by being rude or especially assaulting police.
  • DO take a breathalyzer test if requested. Minnesota is an "implied consent" state, which means it is a crime to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer. In fact, the penalties for refusing to take a breathalyzer test can be more severe than driving drunk. In almost all circumstances, you are better off taking the breath test, even if you think you will fail it.
  • DO pay attention to the officer's name and, if possible, badge number.
  • DO sign a traffic citation if you receive one. Signing a traffic ticket is just agreeing that you received it; it is not an admission of guilt.
  • DO write down your own version of what happened as soon as possible. It will help you remember later and may help you if your case goes to trial.
  • Finally, DO call a lawyer immediately if you are arrested, and refuse to answer any questions other than your identifying information.
  • DO NOT, ever, verbally or physically assault a police officer. This will subject you to much more serious charges.
  • DO NOT lie to police officers. Again, this is far more likely to land you in greater trouble than it is to get you out of it.
  • DO NOT answer any questions about your evening or how much you have been drinking. You have a right not to answer questions. Exercise it.
  • DO NOT sign anything except a normal traffic ticket.
By following these steps, you can keep yourself out of trouble, or at least, keep the trouble you are already in from getting worse. Be safe this weekend.

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