Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a serious offense that can result in severe legal consequences. Being accused of a DWI or DUI can be a terrifying experience, and it is essential to understand how this happens, why it happens, and what the consequences are.
DWIs and DUIs
Under Minnesota law, the terms "DUI" and "DWI" have slightly different definitions:
- DUI, or driving under the influence, applies to drivers who are impaired by either alcohol or drugs, or both.
- DWI, or driving while intoxicated, applies in cases where a driver’s blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit of .08%.
DWI charges are typically more severe because they are filed against drivers who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. However, a DUI can be charged for a BAC as low as 0.04. The differences in charges may seem small but can make a significant difference in the penalties or legal consequences faced by an individual.
How a DWI or DUI Charge is Established
In Minnesota, law enforcement officials are authorized to commit a traffic stop and administer a sobriety test if they suspect that a driver is operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These tests can include breathalyzer tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests. It is important to note that these test results can be used as evidence against you in a criminal case.
The Consequences of a DWI or DUI Charge
If you are accused of a DWI or DUI, the immediate consequences can be severe. You may be arrested and taken to jail, and your driver's license may be suspended or even revoked. Your vehicle may also be impounded, and any passengers may also face charges if they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Depending on the severity of the case, you may also face significant fines, probation, and even imprisonment.
How an Attorney Can Help You
Having an experienced attorney on your side is crucial in defending yourself against these charges. An attorney can assist in analyzing and challenging the evidence against you and help negotiate a plea deal or reduce the penalties you may face. They can also defend you against charges such as reckless driving, helping you keep your criminal record clean and protecting you from a tarnished reputation.
Put Board-Certified Criminal Law Specialists on Your Side
A DWI or DUI conviction in Minnesota can result in severe and life-changing penalties. These charges can affect your future employment opportunities, your driving privileges, and your personal relationships. If you are accused of a DWI or DUI, it is important to have an experienced attorney on your side who can help examine the evidence against you, explore legal options, and support you throughout the process.