Our Blog

holiday dwi minnesota

Minnesota DWI Attorney | DWI During the Holiday Season

December is a month filled with special times that include friends, family and, for a lot of people, numerous holiday festivities packed with fun and frivolity. 

Whether it is the spiked eggnog at the office holiday party, the beer you nurse when your uncle feels compelled to talk politics at the family Christmas dinner, or those sparkling glasses of champagne on New Year’s Eve, the term “Christmas spirits” takes on a totally different meaning this time of year.

Because the holidays from Thanksgiving through New Year’s are among the most traveled in the U.S., you can expect more law enforcement to be patrolling the roads more aggressively during the season. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, during the week of Christmas (6 p.m. Dec. 22, 2017, to 5:59 a.m. Dec. 26, 2017) and New Year’s Day (6 p.m. Dec. 30, 2016, to 5:59 a.m. Jan. 3, 2017) holiday periods in 2017 alone, law enforcement agencies nationwide saw more drunk-driving-related fatalities – 267 – than during any other holiday period that year.

In Minnesota alone, more than 300 law enforcement agencies beefed up holiday DWI enforcement in 2018, according to news reports. Officers, deputies and state troopers made 111 drunk driving arrests between 6 p.m. New Year’s Eve 2018 and 6 a.m. New Year’s Day 2019. Another 32 people were arrested for DWI after 6 a.m. on Jan. 1.

Despite public awareness campaigns, stiffer DWI penalties and the emergence of rideshare programs like Lyft and Uber, it’s clear that drunk driving continues to be a problem in the United States on every holiday. It can be especially prevalent during the holiday season, when many people are out eating, drinking and being merry.

But what about the people who are following the law, whether it’s a holiday or not? The men and women who only have a drink or two and drive home, believing they aren’t endangering themselves or anyone else? If they were given a breathalyzer test, they’d fall well under the legal limit of 0.08 in Minnesota and other states.

Such motorists could still get arrested for driving while impaired. If you or someone you know were cited for DWI on your motorcycle, boat, ATV, car, truck or any other vehicle, call the Minneapolis DWI attorney Gerald Miller at 612-440-3864. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to answer your questions and begin defending your case. Your first consultation is free so call now.

With larger enforcement efforts comes stronger arrest tactics, and in Minnesota, a DUI is referred to as DWI, or driving while impaired. For adults, it is illegal for anyone to drive with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.08. But not all cases are not the same and your DWI citation might not be valid in the eyes of Minnesota law depending on the officer’s actions, whether the Breathalyzer he or she used malfunctioned, any health conditions you might have and other factors. 

The Best DWI Lawyer in Minnesota 

Only an expert DWI attorney can investigate the possibilities and push for case dismissal if any police wrongdoing is found. If you are pulled over by an officer and are worried that extra cup of “special” holiday eggnog might come back to haunt you, the office of Minnesota DWI defense lawyer Gerald Miller is here to help you. Call us today at 612-440-4610. Contact us anytime. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind.

 Another thing to remember is not to say too much. Don’t answer questions about whether you’ve been drinking. Don’t tell them you were at a holiday party. There is no good yes or no answer. If you say you haven’t been drinking, and an officer notes slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, or the smell of booze on your breath, the lie will be included in the officer’s report on your arrest. At the same time, if you admit to drinking – even if you say it was a glass of wine earlier in the day – the officer will consider it justification to investigate you for driving while impaired. The bottom line is, even if you admit to one drink, it is considered another reason for the officer to expand the scope of the stop and get you out of the vehicle.

Once outside of the vehicle, law enforcement will put you through what they call “standard field sobriety tests.” These tests can be refused, but that decision could result in the conclusion where you get arrested for the suspicion of DWI. These tests are used to help build up the state’s evidence towards your level of impairment, so refusing to do them will give the state less to use when prosecuting you.

Field sobriety tests include:

  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus: or an involuntary jerking of the eyeball that occurs as the eyes gaze side to side;
  • The walk-and-turn: where the motorist is asked to take nine steps touching heel to toe and in a straight line, turn, and repeat those steps back;
  • The one-leg stand test: where the person is told to stand on one leg, hold the other leg about six inches off the ground and count beginning with one thousand one for thirty seconds;
  • The Preliminary breath test (PBT): the portable hand-held breath test that can be administered on the side of the road.

They also have the right to ask to speak to a lawyer before agreeing to the ultimate test used for revoking your license or to create the charges in the criminal case. The process can be overwhelming and scary. It’s important to remember that you’re not alone. Before you answer any questions, agree to any tests, or sign any form, you should insist on speaking to your DWI lawyer. Minnesota DWI defense lawyer Gerald Miller and his team can help defend you and your rights. Our team handles all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide. When asked to participate in field sobriety tests (FSTs) or a portable breath test,  Minnesota law provides motorists with the right to talk to their attorney before deciding whether to participate in those tests. Call us at 612-440-4610. Remember, we are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week to help you. 

We can give you peace of mind during the holiday season of peace and good will toward others. Let’s get started. 

About Gerald Miller, P.A.

Were you or someone you love arrested for DWI this holiday season? The process can be worrisome – or even frightening. There is a lot of legal jargon to weave through and court dates to attend. You’re not alone. We can help, whether it’s your first DWI or if you’ve been convicted in the past. 

If you are facing a Minnesota DWI conviction, the experienced Minneapolis DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller, P.A. will review your case and determine the best course of action. We will guide you through the process, working toward a positive outcome no matter the circumstances of the arrest. Our firm has a high success rate. We’ve fought cases all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court. We dig into every aspect of the case, from the time of the arrest the officer’s actions to the accuracy of your Breathalyzer test.

What makes Gerald Miller different from other Minnesota criminal defense lawyers?

The Minneapolis lawyers at Gerald Miller handle all aspects of criminal law across the Twin Cities and statewide, but we have focused on DWIs for nearly 40 years. A DWI affects your driving ability, your finances, and your professional reputation. Don’t let one mistake negatively impact your future.

We have earned dozens of positive Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. Our firm is widely recognized throughout the Twin Cities for our professionalism, compassion, knowledge, and dedication both in and out of the courtroom. The Minneapolis DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller DWI Law Firm are respected by our peers, colleagues, judges, and prosecutors. We have earned national awards and accolades from the American Bar Association, The National Trial Lawyers, the American Institute of DWI/DUI Attorneys, the National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys, the National Academy for DUI Defense, and more. Gerald Miller, P.A. also has received the elite “SuperLawyer” distinction by Thomson Reuters. 

Legal Counsel is Critical to Success

The sooner you contact us, the faster we can start protecting your rights.  Even if your case cannot be dismissed, the charges may be reduced, which is a positive outcome. First-time offenders have a stronger chance than repeat offenders to see their charges reduced or dismissed. Simply put, the details to your specific case are very important to how your case goes. It also helps if you were cooperative at the time of your arrest and if you followed the court’s requirements prior to your hearing, including completing an alcohol assessment and/or DWI classes.

Contact us today to schedule your free and confidential case evaluation at 612-440-4610. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to give you some answers, a little hope, and plenty of well-deserved peace of mind. We can also be reached on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.