Legal Question in DUI Law in Minnesota

I was driving and hit a curb a few times. Someone called in my vehicle as possibly drunk driving. I pulled into my driveway. I went into the house. My husband then says, "T - there are police outside that want to talk to you. One had followed my husband into the house and ask my friend if she had been driving the vehicle. I came out of the house and into the driveway. I had been drinking, but didn't think it was that much. They asked me - and since not recently, I said No. They did a field sobriety test - which I believe I passed. They decided to do a breathalyzer test. I had .16. I was arrested then. My question: can I be convicted on this even though they obviously didn't witness me actually driving and came into my home to find me?

Asked on 9/06/12, 3:44 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Thomas C. Gallagher Gallagher Criminal Defense

A person can be convicted of DWI even if police do not witness driving, though it may be more difficult for them. Be sure to serve and file a Petitoin for Judicial Review challenging the administrative "implied consent" license revocation within the 30 day deadline.

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Answered on 9/06/12, 3:49 pm
Maury Beaulier612.240.8005 Minnesota Lawyers

The answer depends on many things including whether the person who called in the driving conduct was identified and able to be contacted for an appearance in court. If they are identified and police, based on that contact, can determine who drove the vehicle and an approximate time for the driving conduct, it may form a basis for charges. Those charges, of course, can be challenged.

If you had a Blood Alcohol Content of .16, things can be far more serious than a lower reading. A first offense is a misdemeanor which carries with it maximum criminal penalties of 90 days in jail and a $1000 fine. Different Judges give different sentences. As a result, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process.

There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a first offense with a blood alcohol content .16 or more , you may be revoked for up to one year. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge you license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense.

There are also additional consequences to a conviction including skyrocketing insurance rates, plate impoundments and sometimes vehicle forfeitures.

There are many challenges to a DWI. Officers must follow very specific steps as part of the arrest. If any one step is missing, the case may be dismissed.

For a FREE consultation call 612.240.8005.

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Answered on 9/06/12, 4:31 pm

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