The holidays are a time of celebration. But some people take the merriment of being together with friends and family a little too far – and it can lead to a driving while impaired charge in Minnesota.
DWI in Minnesota: What Is It?
A DWI in Minnesota is charged when a person is operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit of 0.08 percent. However, you can get a DWI for a blood alcohol level below the legal limit if you appear too impaired to operate the vehicle safely.
If you are convicted of a DWI in the state, the penalties you face depend on various factors. How many other DWIs you’ve had previously will factor in, as will your blood alcohol level at the time of your arrest and the circumstances of the DWI.
For many first-time offenders, you can face time in jail and lose their license for up to one month. The penalties go up from there.
How Alcohol Affects People
Most people know that when they imbibe alcoholic beverages, they begin to get a “buzz.” This is one of the impacts of alcohol, but that’s not all it does. It also impairs your ability to coordinate and cognition.
For an overwhelming majority of people, drinking slows down your reaction time. That means it will take you longer to act in the face of a stimulus than it would a person who hasn’t been drinking. Coordination and comprehension are also impacted, along with your spatial awareness.
Different people are impacted by alcohol in different ways. How old you are, what you weigh, whether you’re male or female, how fast you’re drinking, and other factors all play a role.
Tips to Avoid a Minnesota DWI
If you want to avoid a DWI in Minnesota this holiday season, there are a few tips you can use to help. You should:
Make a Plan
If you’re going to go out with friends and family, plan out where you’re going to go and how you’ll get there. Are you driving? Taking a rideshare? Getting a taxi? If someone volunteers to be the designated driver, then that’s a good step in the right direction, but as long as you have a plan that doesn’t involve drinking and driving, you’re going the right way.
In other words, plan out how you’re getting home before drinking.
Ask to Stay Over
If you’re going over to a family’s or a friend’s house and plan to drink, ask if it’s OK if you stay over. This is another important step in making plans for where you’re going and how you will stay safe once you’ve started to drink.
One option to avoid a DWI is simply not to drink. If you’re going out with friends or family, don’t consume alcohol, and you’ll have no problems getting home later!
If you’d like a social drink, have only one or two drinks over several hours and monitor yourself closely.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and has been named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyser is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.