The current drunk driving laws in Minnesota are enough to make anyone want to avoid an arrest. If some state lawmakers have it their way, the DWI laws in the state would get even tougher. And on the side of those lawmakers is a story that brings out sadness and upset in just about anyone who hears it.
In 2012, a family got into a severe car accident. An infant died in the crash and his family members who were with him in the vehicle were injured. On the other side of the Minnesota accident was a drunk driver. That felony DWI case is over. The impact of the drunk driving incident, however, continues.
The DWI defendant pleaded guilty to vehicular homicide following the fatal accident. Sentencing in a criminal case like his could be more severe if a new proposal passes in Minnesota. The legal change would affect those convicted of felony DWI such as repeat offenses and vehicular homicide.
Currently, someone convicted of criminal vehicular homicide or two DUI offenses within 10 years would serve a maximum of 10 years in prison. If that Minnesota law were to change according to the proposed "Drake's Law," the maximum sentence for those felony offenses would increase to 15 years.
Laws involving impaired driving are complex. They vary based on level of impairment, an impact of a crash and a defendant's history. They also change. Someone who is charged with a DWI offense, especially one involving injury or death, should work with a criminal defense attorney immediately.
Source: Kare 11, "'Drake's Law' would toughen DWI penalties," March 18, 2014