Last week, a Minnesota woman with 2 prior DWI convictions was stopped for driving without her headlights on just south of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol. The woman allegedly performed poorly on field sobriety tests and was administered a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT) that registered a 0.21 Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). The woman was subsequently arrested on suspicion of Driving While Under the Influence or DWI. After the Implied Consent Advisory, the woman refused to submit to an evidentiary test and was charged with 2nd Degree DWI Test Refusal a Gross Misdemeanor.
Under Minnesota Statute section 169A.25, a person commits 2nd degree Driving While Impaired when they operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol with a BAC of 0.08 or greater, and they have 2 Aggravating Factors or they refuse BAC tests and have one Aggravating Factor. An Aggravating Factor can be any of the following: (1) a prior impaired driving incident within the last 10 years; (2) a BAC of 0.20 or greater; or (3) having a passenger 16 years old or under. The punishment for the Gross Misdemeanor of 2nd Degree Driving While Impaired is imprisonment of not more than 1 year and or a fine of not more than $3,000.
In addition to the Gross Misdemeanor criminal charges, the woman is also facing collateral costs, the forfeiture of her vehicle, and the revocation of her driver’s license. Pursuant to Minnesota Statute section 169A.63, the vehicle used in the commission of a driving while intoxicated (DWI) offense may be seized and forfeited when someone has been charged with 2nd Degree Driving While Intoxicated. In addition, Minnesota Statute section 169A.52 provides that the Commissioner of Public Safety may revoke a person’s driver’s license for a period of not less than 2 years when a person refuses to submit to a BAC test and has 2 prior qualified impaired driving incidents.
It is important to understand that you have a limited time to preserve your right to contest forfeiture and or the revocation of your driving privileges.
If you have been charged or anticipate criminal charges, contact a Minnesota Criminal Defense Lawyer for assistance and a free consultation. It is important to fully understand your rights before you act.