In Minnesota it is a crime to drive, operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or a combination of the two, or while knowingly under the influence of a hazardous substance. It is also a crime to drive, operate or be in physical control of a motor vehicle with an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more (or with an alcohol concentration of 0.04 or more with a commercial vehicle), or with any measurable amount of a Schedule I or II controlled substance or its metabolite, other than marijuana. Finally, it is a crime to refuse to submit to chemical testing when requested to do so. These impaired-driving offenses, commonly referred to as DWIs or DUIs, are one of the most commonly-prosecuted offenses in the state, with approximately 30,000 people arrested in Minnesota each year. One in seven Minnesota drivers has at least one alcohol-related driving offense on their record.
These offenses are extremely serious. Penalties can include time in jail (or, in some instances, in state prison), substantial fines, the imposition of community work service, loss of your driving privileges, mandatory treatment programming, impoundment of your license plates (which require the dreaded “whisky plates”), and even the loss of your vehicle.
Defending against a DWI charge requires experience, skill and expertise. No other type of criminal case requires knowledge of both criminal and civil law, and a comprehension of the complex science of chemical testing of breath, blood and urine. Furthermore, the laws relating to DWI are voluminous, complicated, and ever-changing. Don’t believe us? Consider this fact: The statutes relating to Murder and Manslaughter fill less than three pages of the most commonly-used Minnesota statute book. The statutes relating to impaired-driving offenses, however, fill nearly 41 pages!
DWI cases are also terribly time-sensitive. If you have received a driver’s license revocation notice, a license plate impoundment notice or a vehicle seizure notice, you only have only a very limited period of time in which to challenge this state action. If you miss these critical deadlines your rights (and possibly even your vehicle) will be lost forever.
At Segal, Roston & Berris, we have the necessary expertise to defend you if you have been arrested for an impaired driving offense. Marc Berris has attended the very same training as the officer who arrested you, and he is certified by the Minnesota State Patrol in the administration and interpretation of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, and by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension as a DataMaster DMT-G operator. This machine is the only evidentiary breath testing machine used in Minnesota, and Marc is the only defense lawyer in the state to have this certification.
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The fact is that if you have been arrested for DWI, there is simply too much information that you need to know for us to put it on our website. Besides, just as you wouldn’t (or at least shouldn’t) rely on a website for medical advice, you can’t rely on a website for legal advice. Instead, you should contact Segal, Roston & Berris at 612-332-3100 for a free and personalized consultation about your case. We’ll tell you what you need to know and what your options are, and it won’t cost you a cent.