A driver facing a first offense DWI in Minnesota has the chance of receiving some leniency in court. With a well-presented defense strategy, a driver with no prior alcohol-related convictions in the past 10 years may hope to avoid jail time if no other aggravating factors are involved. However, many drunk driving arrests involve aggravating factors, which means those drivers may face even more serious consequences.
One recent arrest occurred just after 2 a.m. on a Saturday when police noticed a vehicle make a turn into the wrong-way lanes of a multi-lane highway. Seeing oncoming traffic, the driver apparently realized her mistake and attempted to get into the correct lane by driving over the low, cement lane divider. Police pursued the vehicle and initiated a traffic stop just before the driver entered the freeway.
From bad to worse
When police pulled the woman over, officers say they had reason to believe the driver was impaired. However, as they attempted to handcuff her and place her under arrest, the woman allegedly began to fight. Reports say the woman kicked one of the deputies on the arm and on the shoulder. The woman also apparently refused to submit to a blood alcohol test after her arrest.
Instead of facing only a single count of fourth-degree drunk driving, which is a misdemeanor, she is now also looking at charges for refusing a breath test as well as felony assault charges. Defending against these charges may be more of a challenge. Nevertheless, those facing any level of DWI counts are wise to mount a skillful defense to avoid the harsh penalties that a conviction may bring.