Impaired Driving Facts in MN
3 months ago by Brian
Minnesota authorities take impaired driving and DWI accidents very seriously, and the law allows for strict penalties when a driver is convicted of driving while impaired (DWI).
While reducing impaired driving is critical for public safety, not every arrest and DWI charge is valid.
Facts about DWI in Minnesota
The following are some relevant facts about impaired driving in Minnesota. Never hesitate to seek legal help if you face DWI charges.
DWI Arrests and Charges
In a recent year, more than 24,000 drivers were arrested for DWI in Minnesota. While this number has decreased significantly in the past decade due in part to the Covid lockdown, there are still a lot of defendants facing DWI charges each year in our state.
About one in seven drivers in Minnesota have at least one conviction of DWI on their records.
Around 72 percent of DWI offenders are male, and about half are between the ages of 20 and 34.
Legal Alcohol Limits in Minnesota
Minnesota law sets out legal limits for a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC). For most drivers, the limit is 0.08 percent. However, Minnesota has a “Not a Drop” law for underage drivers.
If a driver is not of the legal drinking age, they may not have any discernible amount of alcohol in their systems. Even alcohol from cough syrup or similar substances can trigger an underage DWI arrest.
Always remember that you can still be arrested for impaired driving when you are under the legal limit. The difference is:
- If your BAC is over the legal limit, the law presumes you are impaired, and the prosecutor does not need to present any additional evidence of impairment.
- If your BAC is below the legal limit, the prosecutor must present additional evidence of impairment, such as testimony from the arresting officer that they observed signs of intoxication.
Never assume that you will not be arrested if you are under the legal limit. Officers can still base an arrest on observations of slurred words, bloodshot eyes, stumbling, the odor of alcohol, and more.
Impaired Driving Accidents
The law takes DWI seriously because impaired driving can lead to serious accidents.
Consider the following for a recent year in Minnesota:
- 2,228 people reported suffering injuries in accidents due to impaired driving
- 74 died in driving while impaired crashes
If you are accused of a DWI accident with injuries or fatalities, your charges can increase to criminal vehicular operation. Charges involving substantial injuries or death will likely be at the felony level.
Learn How a Woodbury DWI Attorney Can Help
At JS Defense, P.A., we know that every DWI defendant has the right to present a defense to their charges.
We can review the circumstances of your arrest and guide you on any available defense strategies.