Drunk driving is one of the most common criminal charges filed in our state. The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety reports that 24,862 DWI arrests were made in 2017 alone. While prosecutors have experience handling many DWI cases, most drivers are simply not well-acquainted with the system. As a consequence, people sometimes make avoidable mistakes that undermine their own rights and interests. Here are four things that Minnesota’s top DWI defense lawyers want you to know.
Minnesota’s Drunk Driving Limit is Lower than You Might Think
Most drivers have a general understanding that the legal blood alcohol limit in Minnesota is 0.08. If your BAC is above 0.08, you can be arrested and charged with drunk driving. However, if your BAC is below 0.08, you are not necessarily in the clear—at least not automatically. If you are operating a commercial vehicle, the BAC limit is 0.04. Further, if you are deemed to be impaired by a controlled substance, you may be charged with drugged driving.
Remain Silent—Do Not Try to Talk Yourself Out of Trouble
Under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, all defendants (and suspects) have the right to remain silent. If you were arrested for a DWI, the best drunk driving defense lawyers in Minnesota recommend that you exercise that right. Put simply, it is unlikely that you are going to talk yourself out of trouble after an arrest. Far more likely, you will make a statement that can be used against you in court. The less you say, the better.
You are Not Obligated to Submit to Pre-Arrest Field Sobriety Testing
In Minnesota, drivers are not obligated to take a pre-arrest field sobriety test (FST). These tests are notoriously unreliable. Once again, submitting to an FST may be more likely to get you into trouble than get you out of trouble. If a Minnesota police officer asks you to take a field sobriety test, remember that you are fully within your rights to decline. You cannot be sanctioned for refusing to participate in a field sobriety test.
Everyone Has a Right to a Defense Lawyer – You Should Use It
Finally, it is important to remember that you have the right to an attorney. You are not required to make any statements to police or to answer any questions. If you were arrested on DWI charges, consult with an experienced Minnesota drunk driving defense lawyer as soon as possible. Do not plead guilty without letting a top-rated attorney review your case.
Call Our Minnesota DWI Defense Lawyers Right Away
At Kohlmeyer Hagen, Law Office Chtd., our Minnesota criminal defense attorneys offer aggressive, solutions-driven advocacy to clients. If you or your loved one was arrested on DWI charges, our lawyers can help. To request a completely confidential review of your case, please contact our law firm today by calling 507-625-5000. We serve communities all over Southern Minnesota, including in Nicollet County, Blue Earth County, Steele County, and Waseca County.