Last night, Attorney Joe Tamburino spoke to reporters from Fox 9 news,
weighing in on the effects from the
DWI changes that will take place this August. There is a thought that this
new law will increase the number of arrests, especially on first-time
offenders and others with no prior criminal history. In turn, this can
also raise the costs for taxpayers to fund this new law.
Understanding the DWI Law Change
DWI laws measure a driver’s level of intoxication by measuring the
blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Under current law, an individual can
be charged with a misdemeanor if their BAC measures at least .08, and
a gross misdemeanor is charged at .20 or above.
These are the penalties under the current law:
- Jail sentence for 90 days
- 90-day license suspension
- Up to one year in jail
- 1-year license suspension
However, on August 1, 2015, the law will
lower the legal limit for a gross misdemeanor to .16. This could possibly be disastrous for the entire criminal justice system
throughout Minnesota, necessitating the need for additional resources,
such as additional law enforcement officials, more rooms for jailed citizens,
as well as legal support.
Attorney Tamburino provided the following comments:
“You're going to have an additional 3,000 people a year who are
going to have to be processed through our jails, there's 87 counties
in Minnesota. Who knows how many beds they're going to need over the
weekend or overnight to accommodate all these people?”
New Law Places Strain on Average Citizen
While it is obvious that the new law is meant to deter drunk drivers from
getting behind the wheel. More than 40% of those caught for driving while
intoxicated are repeat offenders. First and foremost, though, the aim
is to reduce the amount of car accidents that come from drivers with high
At the same time, who is left to foot the bill that these reforms may bring?
Attorney Tamburino points out that because gross demeanors require higher
bail amounts, the expense of this offense will be much heftier. Housing
prisoners will also become costly—at the expense of the taxpaying
Want to know more about DWI laws? Looking for protection if you were accused?
Speak with our Minneapolis DWI attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A.