Many Minnesotans enjoy drinking alcohol. Since the end of Prohibition, which was also known as the Volstead Act, after Minnesota’s own Representative Volstead, who was instrumental in passing the Act, adults of legal drinking age can purchase and consume alcohol.
Sometimes Minnesotans know they may drink and have a few more than would make it safe for them to drive. One solution to this problem is the “party bus.” These buses are used to provide a safe ride to bars, restaurants and other events, while allowing passengers to not have to worry about whether they have gone over Minnesota’s legal limit of 0.08 blood alcohol concentration.
One man in St. Paul revealed one essential element for the successful operation of a party bus; that being the driver must remain sober. It is good to note that this is not a circumstance where a driver of such a bus was intoxicated along with the patrons.
No, this man was accused of stealing a party bus from a St. Paul restaurant and going on a “joyride.” There was certainly no joy when he was arrested and faced three charges, including a third-degree DWI.
Sadly, the man had five prior DWI convictions, had his driving privileges cancelled back in 1997 and had been ordered to abstain from alcohol, so he should not have been driving any vehicle, nor drinking. It was hockey tournament season, and perhaps he simply was carried away by emotion and clearly made a bad decision. Alcohol can do that.
He was able to plea to the refusal to submit to a chemical test and was sentenced to 90-days of electronic home monitoring and two years probation.
Part of the difficulty with DWI cases involving multiple offenders is that incarceration rarely solves the substance abuse or chemical dependency issues, which underlie the recidivism. Treatment is typically the better solution and may help prevent repeat offenses.
Source: twincities.com, “St. Paul party bus joyrider pleads guilty to DWI charge,” Elizabeth Mohr, Pioneer Press, August 25, 2015