Expect DWI and BWI Patrols Over Labor Day Weekend
Labor Day honors the nation’s workers and marks the unofficial end of summer. From Friday evening through Monday night, Labor Day weekend is a time to relax and spend time with family and friends.
Interestingly, the first Monday in September is a unique celebration in that it’s without rituals when you compare to other federal holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Cookouts, boating, and ballgames are really the only Labor Day traditions we partake in. And partake we do.
Before closing up their cabins or winterizing our boats for the fall, many Minnesotans probably look at Labor Day weekend as their last chance to party outside before the winter months keep them indoors. Google “Labor Day Alcohol” and dozens of speciality drink recipes pop up. Even the Minnesota State Fair is boasting 33 new beers over Labor Day weekend.
Before you crack open a cold one or four, you should know: law enforcement officers across our state will be overzealous in their efforts to make as many Minnesota DWI arrests possible. The Minnesota State Patrol, for example, is putting extra troopers on the roadways this weekend. The state’s Department of Public Safety started an aggressive DW arrest campaign Aug. 16 that will run through Labor Day; an extra 300 police officers, deputies and troopers are looking for impaired drivers this weekend.
About 400 to 500 Minnesota motorists have arrested over Labor Day weekend every year from 2014 to 2018. Last year, 401 people were arrested over the three days.
You can assume officials hope to surpass that number this year. They’ll also be hunting for drugged drivers who have smoked marijuana or even taken legally-prescribed prescription drugs. Minnesota DWI stands for driving while impaired, so it’s within an officer’s right to charge you with a DWI if you haven’t had a drop to drink but have taken drugs, legal or otherwise. If any amount of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance is found in a chemical test, you can be charged with a DWI. Many commonly prescribed medications fall within Schedule I and Schedule II.
Recreational marijuana is still illegal in Minnesota.
You shouldn’t drive impaired. Labor Day weekend is the one of the deadliest for drunk driving crashes next to the 4th of July. If you are out drinking, designate a driver, call an Uber, get a hotel, or stay with a friend. Don’t get behind the wheel.
Police Make Mistakes
If you stick to one drink and wait until you drive, that’s good, right? Maybe not. In Minnesota, you can get a DWI even if your BAC is under .08. It’s all up to the discretion of the officer if he or she believes you are impaired.
Law enforcement officers can make mistakes in their quest to meet DWI arrest quotas set by their superiors and state government officials. Breathalyzers can be wrong. And you should always politely refuse a roadside sobriety test. Because even if you think you can balance and walk just fine, the tests are very technical. An officer will look for a reason to claim you failed.
If you have been cited for DWI, it’s important that you have strong legal representation soon after your arrest. The Minneapolis DWI Law Firm of Gerald Miller, P.A. has defended all kinds of DWI cases. That includes fourth degree DWI, third degree DWI, second degree DWI, and first degree DWI. We also handle all aspects of criminal law. Call Minnesota DWI lawyer Gerald Miller and his team at 612-440-4608 or contact us here. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your first case evaluation is free.
In Minnesota and all 50 states, it is against the law to drive if you have an alcohol content of .08 percent or higher. Every 88 instances of driving, someone is arrested for operating a motor vehicle above the legal limit. Within two hours of drinking, at any given location in the country, an average of 772 drivers will be arrested for drunk driving, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many states refer to the charge as a DUI, or driving under the influence. Minnesota calls it a DWI, which stands for driving while impaired.
The consequences of a DWI conviction can be life-changing. If you are arrested this holiday weekend, give our experienced Minneapolis DWI Law Firm a call right away. We have the time, tools, and resources to save you from maximum penalties. Don’t let this holiday ruin all the others. Call the best Minnesota DWI attorneys and find out what we can do for you. A great DWI attorney – especially one who specializes in DWI cases – is imperative.
Boating While Impaired (BWI)
Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, and over Labor Day weekend, you can bet to see folks on every single one of them. A Boating While Intoxicated offense—or BWI—is just as serious as drunk driving. Penalties are similar, and can include a maximum of 90 days in jail, a maximum fine of $1,000, and a suspension of your boating license for at least 90 boating season days. This revocation can also extend to other recreational vehicles as well, if that is something you drive (ie. snowmobiles in the winter, ATV/four-wheelers).
According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 30% of fatal boat accidents in the state involve alcohol. Boaters can bet that the lakes will be especially policed this Labor Day weekend.
Criminal Consequences of a Minnesota DWI or BWI
You could face jail time and fines if you are convicted of a DWI or BWI in Minnesota. The level of each punishment typically depends on the degree of your charge – and whether you have had others on your record – and the facts and circumstances surrounding a first-time offense. For example, if your blood alcohol concentration for a first-time offense was lower than 0.16 percent, you can face up to ninety days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. However, if during that offense, you also had a child in your car, you can face up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $3,000.
Criminal consequences for a DWI or BWI offense might also include probation, alcohol treatment and rehabilitation and chemical dependency evaluations, and loss of boating license as noted earlier. Typically, it is up to the discretion of the judge and the facts surrounding your case. That is why it is imperative that you seek the help of an experienced DWI and BWI attorney after your arrest. We know what to argue and how to build the best defense for your specific facts and circumstances.
Civil Consequences of a Minnesota DWI or BWI
The most crucial and perhaps most life-altering civil consequence of a DWI or BWI conviction is the loss of your driving privileges. Even a first-time offense where your BAC is less than 0.16 percent results in some loss of driving privileges for as long as 90 days. If you refuse the test, or blow a higher number on your first-offense, then it can jump to 1 year of revocation.
Some offenders may have the option of installing an ignition interlock device if they want to drive at all during the revocation period. The greater the degree of the offense – and depending on the circumstances of the case – the longer the revocation period. If you’ve been convicted of three or more DWI offenses within ten years (or four offenses in a lifetime), your driver’s license can be cancelled as you may be deemed, according to state law, “inimical to public safety.”
The civil consequences of a DWI can also include vehicle seizure and license plate impoundment. The State of Minnesota can seize or take your vehicle or impound your plates under certain circumstances, and in many cases, this might occur if it is your second, third, fourth, or subsequent offense. However, vehicle seizure and plate impoundment can occur even if it is your first DWI offense, specifically if your BAC is higher than .16 percent and you have a child in your vehicle.
About Gerald Miller, P.A.
Were you or someone you know arrested for DWI or BWI? The process can be frightening. There are a lot of unknowns and legal jargon to weave through. The good news is, 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 conviction, the experienced Minnesota DWI attorneys at Gerald Miller, P.A. will look at 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, and we’ve fought cases all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Your case is not open-and-shut. You should fight. We look at 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 criminal law attorneys 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 affect your future.
We have earned dozens of positive Google, Yelp and Facebook reviews from satisfied clients. We are widely recognized throughout the Twin Cities for our professionalism, compassion, success rate, 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.
Legal Counsel is Critical to Success
The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can start protecting your rights. Even if a case cannot be dismissed, your charges may be reduced. That is a positive outcome in itself. First-time offenders have a stronger chance to receive lower charges than a repeat offender. Some prosecutors will consider reducing a DWI charge to careless driving if the defendant has no prior offenses, a BAC under .10 and a clean driving record. It helps if you were cooperative at the time of your arrest and if you followed the instructions of the court 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.