The Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Office of Traffic Safety has created a group of online video testimonials as part of its ongoing campaign against driving while intoxicated (DWI). Called “DWI Confessions,” this series consists of three harrowing installments. The first features an unnamed young adult who explains what happened when he drove after having a “couple drinks.” A police officer pulled him over and arrested him, and he experienced the humiliation of sitting in a jail cell in an orange jumpsuit and flip-flops.
Minnesotans are prohibited from driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. DWI penalties in Minnesota can include a driver's license suspension lasting 30 days to one year, thousands of dollars in legal fees and higher insurance premiums, and prison time.
The young man in the first video of a 3-part series describes the specific punishments that he faced. He temporarily lost his license and had to ride the bus; doing so adversely affected his romantic life. His insurance costs rose. He had to pay for an interlock ignition, a system whereby a car will only start when the driver passes a breathalyzer. Minnesota law requires that repeat DWI offenders and those caught driving with a BAC of 0.16 or higher install interlocks or accept lengthier -- perhaps permanent -- license suspensions. This individual also had to buy a whiskey plate, a license plate indicating that the owner of a vehicle has been arrested for drunk driving two or more times.
Sadly, this young person's story is far from rare. According to the Office of Traffic Safety, 104 people died and 2,644 people were hurt in Minnesota drunk driving accidents in 2012. That year, more than 28,000 Minnesotans were arrested for DWI. Approximately one in seven motorists in Minnesota has been charged with driving under the influence at some point.
Fortunately, there are numerous ways to prevent drunk driving accidents. First, you should devise a plan before anyone begins imbibing alcohol at a social event. Appoint a few people as designated drivers. Have on hand a taxicab service's phone number. You might even make arrangements so that all guests have someplace to sleep at the party's location. That way, everyone can stay put until the alcohol has worn off. Additionally, you can save lives by dialing 911 whenever you see someone driving erratically; be ready to provide authorities with your location and that person's license plate number.
Finally, if you've been injured by a drunk driver -- or if this has happened to a loved one -- know that you can contact Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben’s expert DWI accident attorneys at any time. The firm's investigative resources and legal finesse are unsurpassed. Experienced advocates will fight vigorously and fearlessly to ensure that you receive all of the damages to which you’re entitled. Call (612) 377-7777 or toll-free at 1-800-752-4265 for a free consultation.