Three potential defenses for those charged with a DWI in MN

Those who are wrongly accused of a DWI in Minnesota have options. Defenses, including the three broad examples discussed in this piece, can help you defeat the charges.

It is illegal to operate a motor vehicle when under the influence of alcohol in Minnesota. This law is not a novel concept, and most people agree that it is designed to help better ensure the safety of the state's roadways.

Although the purpose of the law is noble, the application may not always meet this same standard. There are situations when drivers are falsely accused of driving while under the influence. If you believe that you were falsely accused of violating this law, you have options. One option is to fight the charges.

How can I fight DWI charges in Minnesota?

Various defenses against driving while impaired (DWI) are available. Three examples that are generally taken into consideration for a DWI case include:

  • Improper stop. As discussed in a previous article, police cannot randomly stop drivers. They must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to support the stop. When it comes to allegations of drunk driving, one potential reason to support a stop would be the observation of erratic driving. This could include failing to stop at a stop sign, swerving into other lanes or oncoming traffic or driving at a very slow speed. If the officer cannot point to any solid evidence to support the stop, any information gathered during the stop is likely inadmissible. If the stop resulted in a blood or breath test that establish the driver is over the legal limit, the results are not likely allowed in court. As a result, it is unlikely any charges made after an invalid stop would survive a challenge.
  • Faulty administration of tests. Officers making a DWI stop may conduct a number of different tests to determine if the driver was intoxicated. This could include a field sobriety or blood alcohol test. Administration of either test requires the officer follow certain protocol. A failure to do so could skew the results. In cases where the officer deviated from expected protocol the results of the tests may be inadmissible.
  • Evidence issues. In the case of a blood draw to determine the blood alcohol concentration of the driver, the evidence (blood) must be carefully handled. If it is mishandled the results could be inaccurate, again leading to findings that may not be admissible in court.

If successful, each of the examples above results in inadmissible evidence, essentially defeating the charges. However, it is important to note that the examples are broad. In most cases, a defense must be tailored to the driver's unique situation in order to find success. As such, those face charges of drunk driving are wise to seek legal counsel. Your DWI lawyer can craft a defense to fit your case, better ensuring a more favorable outcome.