A person does not necessarily have to travel far in a vehicle to face drunk driving charges in Minnesota. In fact, “driving” may be a little confusing for some people when it comes to driving while impaired charges, as the car does not have to move at all to support a charge. The actual DWI statute expands the reach of the law to people who are driving, operating or are deemed to be in physical control of a motor vehicle.
Authorities in Southern Minnesota accuse two men in one car of DWI after a traffic stop on Monday night. Rochester police say that a caller reported seeing a car run into a retaining wall as the driver attempted to back out of a driveway. Authorities say that the caller claims that after the wall was struck, the driver switched seats with a passenger in the same vehicle.
Authorities tracked down a car that apparently matched the description provided by the 911 caller and conducted a traffic stop. The man found behind the wheel, a 44-year-old Rochester man, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. Authorities claim that he tested 0.22 percent blood alcohol concentration in a DWI breath test. The passenger in the car during the traffic stop reportedly measured 0.12 percent BAC. Apparently based upon the claims of the witness, police arrested the passenger for DWI as well.
Each man has previous qualified prior impaired driving incidents on his record, according to a media account. Authorities are pursuing enhanced DWI charges based upon the prior records. Each man has been charged with DWI in the second degree, which is a gross misdemeanor offense.
Source: Rick Kupchella’s Bring Me the News, “Two men arrested for DWI – driving the same car,” Melanie Sommer, May 13, 2014