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Steeper Penalties May Affect First-Time DWI Offenders Most, Says Attorney Tamburino

One study done by Star Tribune reports that those accused DWI under the new law, which will effect in August, will be subjected to harsh penalties. To be arrested for a DWI and be charged with a gross misdemeanor, the measure will reduce the legal blood-alcohol (BAC) limit to .16, which two times the limit to be charged with a misdemeanor.

Attorney Joe Tamburino has offered his thoughts on this topic for several media outlets, including Star Tribune. He believes that this law casts a wider net and could result in about 3, 000 more arrests for gross misdemeanor DWI, or an over 71% increase.

New Law May Bring More Arrests

Lawmakers decided to reduce the limit to .16 when they discovered that accidents were more prevalent in cases where BAC was .15. The number, .16 is also twice the legal limit for a misdemeanor.

One may expect to face the following consequences under the new law:

  • Up to 1 year in jail
  • $3, 000 fine
  • Higher auto insurance rates
  • Impounded license plates or vehicle
  • $12, 000 bail amount
  • Additional legal fees
  • License revocation

Several counselors, including our very own Attorney Joe Tamburino, believes that this new lowered legal limit will drive up court fees and raise the number of arrests. He stated: ““I think this net is cast so broad you’re going to get a lot of people.”

Will new law deter drunk drivers?

Ultimately, the goal is to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents. However, many of those arrests may be from first-time offenders and those who have no criminal record to speak of. This is where criminal defense lawyers’, such as Attorney Tamburino, the concern lies. Those with such a clean record will be forced to face such harsh penalties that it feels nearly unfair. However, only time will tell whether or not this new law will be worth the expense for the state and taxpayers.

Were you accused of DWI or would you like additional information about this new law? Contact Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. and schedule a free appointment with us!

You can read the entire story from Star Tribune here:


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