Legal Question in DUI Law in Minnesota

My son was arrested for Dwi at ,17. At the time the license plates on the car owned and titled to his father were obviously impounded. At the arraignment hearing, my son pleaded guilty to first offense of DWI. He was issued a 7 day temporary permit. Prior to arraignment his father did the Request for Administrative Review and we are waiting an answer. We would like to transfer title to our son. We had been meaning to do this anyway, but just did niot get it done. I called DMV and discussed this with a longtime employee who works specifically in the impound division at the state level. After a very lengthy discussion, she said that we could definitely do this, even though the plates were impounded. At the time of the transfer, if it can be done, my son will get the special plates and and interlock device before any driving in that vehicle. We and our son have no problem accepting the plates or device. We know they are required and should be! My husband and I know that we would need to use the interlock if we should have to drive that vehicle, but unless an emergency we would not, as we have other vehicles. Here is our concern... After talking with the longtime impound specialist at the state impound department at DMV, I called the local DMV office and she said we could Not do the transfer. I called the state impound person back and she was adamant that it could be done and that the local person was wrong and that I should ignore what is said in the Request to Approve Sale of Vehicle Subject Licence Plate Impoundment Section C on the Request for Administrative. Review of License Plate Impoundment Order, that we my husband signed at the local office and they faxed to the state level.. We do not want to do anything wrong to cause another gross misdemeanor or felony for our son. Our main purpose in doing the car title transfer is so that our son ( and he agrees) is so that he will now take full responsibility for the car, repairs, and insurance on his own. He is a pretty good kid and he and his friends have had a designated driver, because they have another friend who was in an extremely serious accident when he was drunk driving and they were all devastated by it. My son is very remorseful that he drove after drinking and can't believe that he did it without calling a sober friend or me (which he has done a couple of times), if he could not find a friend. Can someone please answer soon???!!!!! If the transfer can be done, should it be done now, when he has the temporary permit and before my husband gets an answer for the Request for Review of Impoundment, which can take up to 15 days to process, OR after he gets the restricted license. SOOO CONFUSED!!! Please help. I do not know if any other place to call to explain the two different opinions.My son fully wants to abide by each provision if his sentencing. That is why he plead guilty guilty at the arrangement plea agreement right away.

Asked on 10/07/15, 9:49 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Samuel Edmunds Sieben Edmunds Miller PLLC

I don't think the vehicle can be transferred to your son. The law states:

Subd. 14. Sale of vehicle subject to impoundment order.

(a) A registered owner may not sell or transfer a motor vehicle during the time its registration plates have been ordered impounded or during the time its registration plates bear a special series number, unless:

(1) the sale is for a valid consideration;

(2) the transferee and the registered owner are not family or household members;

(3) the transferee signs an acceptable sworn statement with the commissioner attesting that:

(i) the transferee and the violator are not family or household members;

(ii) the transferee understands that the vehicle is subject to an impoundment order; and

(iii) it is a crime under section 169A.37 to file a false statement under this section or to allow the previously registered owner to drive, operate, or be in control of the vehicle during the impoundment period; and

(4) all elements of section 168A.10 (transfer of interest by owner) are satisfied.

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Answered on 10/07/15, 10:07 am
Tricia Dwyer Tricia Dwyer Esq & Assoc PLLC

Your post raises multiple issues.

First, I suggest that you not post such private detail on a public website. I urge that you hire a very well-experienced attorney to assist you with the myriad issues and concerns: She can provide counsel and help to resolution. This website is providing general legal information only: Legal advice and counsel as to particular situations and issues is provided by one's attorney.

I will make note to you that a tremendous amount of certain very detailed scientific research has been conducted over many years, and is still underway: Statistically, a person 'caught' (by law enforcement) while driving/operating a motor vehicle/boat impaired (drunk, alcohol impaired, other forms of chemical impairment - often a combination of substances/chemicals, legally obtained including prescription medications &, or illegally gotten) more than one time has a 99% + statistical likelihood of being an active addict (actively addicted to one or multiple substances/chemicals, of which alcohol is included, of course). And, statistically, a person 'caught' driving impaired more than one time likely has been out driving a vehicle 'drunk' or otherwise impaired and "gotten away with it' an average of at least 55-60 times prior to EACH of the times that law enforcement is involved. (Of course, statistics do vary, study by study).

Should alcoholism or alcohol abuse, 'binge drinking', etc., and, or other chemical impairment be a concern, I recommend an Open A. A. group, such as the very well-known MainStreeters group in the Twin Cities (this group in particular has a fine reputation, is highly active in the community, and is well known nationally, and internationally). Members of MainStreeters are often out performing anonymous service to others, deliberately NOT seeking to be recognized. Members are from ALL walks of life. A person/'newcomer' to a meeting ought to arrive quite early and stay late. The person simply goes to one or more of those with recovery and asks, one-to-one, to go speak privately & begin by describing 'what's going on' with him/her. It is prudent to approach members with many years of recovery and healing; approach same-gender persons who seems kind and caring. There is a saying: 'Stick with the winners'. There is also another saying, 'You are always free to return to your misery'.

In 2015, many thousands upon thousands of people deliberately choose to live their lives and have nothing at all to do with alcohol or other drugs -they choose not to attend any social events in which drugs/alcohol are included/being offered, no restaurants/bars with same. Best to you and your family.

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Answered on 10/07/15, 10:23 am

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