Authorities statewide are urging drivers to be responsible during St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in order to avoid a DUI arrest in Minnesota or a drunk driving accident, the Albert Lea Tribune reported.
St. Paul drunk driving defense lawyers note St. Patrick’s Day is on a Thursday this year — likely signaling the beginning of a fun-filled three-day weekend for many.
Nearly 1,000 motorists were charged with DWI on St. Patrick’s Day from 2007 to 2009; authorities say during that same time period more than half the traffic deaths were alcohol related. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports alcohol is typically involved in about one-third of all fatal Minnesota car accidents, contributing to 131 of the 421 fatalities reported in 2009.
Authorities will likely be out in force, conducting roving patrols, law enforcement roadblocks (sobriety checkpoints) and other efforts meant to strike a proactive chord with the public. In reality, such enforcement efforts typically lead to marginal arrests and increase the risk that a motorist will be unfairly or inappropriately charged with drunk driving in St. Paul.
A first-offense conviction for DWI in Minnesota could result in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to 90 days in jail. Typically, you will be required to complete mandatory chemical assessment. The state will seek to suspend your driver’s license for a period of 90 days or more, depending on your BAC level, whether you have a previous conviction and whether or not you refused to take a blood, breath or urine test. However, the hidden costs of a drunk driving conviction can cost thousands more and may include skyrocketing car insurance premiums, court fines and costs, mandatory treatment and job loss.
Whether law enforcement is conducting sobriety checkpoints or they are engaged in increased patrol or increased vigilance, motorists on the receiving end of such stops are often subjected to unfair stops, search and seizure and arrest. An officer must have an “articulable reasonable suspicion” for making a stop in the first place and then must have probable cause for requesting that you comply with field sobriety testing or submit to a breathalyzer examination. Periods of increased enforcement may also result in officers who lack proper training being moved to the street to conduct traffic stops.
Consulting a Minneapolis DUI defense lawyer is the best bet for protecting your rights, your freedom, your livelihood and your financial well-being.
Charged with drunk driving in the Twin Cities? Call the Kans Law Firm, LLC at (888) 972-6060 for a free case review