If you live in Anoka or Ramsey County and are caught driving drunk, “the courts are going to hammer you,” according to a DWI victims advocate in this article from the Star Tribune. These two counties have been notably tough on DWI offenders and have seen the largest declines in alcohol-related accidents across the state.
Ramsey County has a DWI Court and Anoka has a similar intensive program, both aimed at helping DWI offenders stop their destructive patterns and keep themselves and the community safer. Both programs involve intense supervision by the court and sobriety. The Anoka County program is only reserved for those people who have at least three DWIs.
Things like mental health counseling, alcoholics anonymous, and even inpatient treatment can be requirements of these programs. Difficult, yes. But, they seem to be working. Statistics show that people who participate in these programs are less likely to be caught driving drunk than those who go through the typical court regimen.
In Minnesota, the penalties you face for DWI depend on several factors known as aggravating factors. If you are caught for the first time with no additional aggravating factors, you will likely face 4th degree DWI and a potential 90 days in jail.
Aggravating factors that can increase your potential penalty include prior DWI convictions, a BAC greater than .20%, or the presence of a child in the car at the time of the DWI.
The most serious of all DWI offenses is 1st degree DWI. This charge is applicable when there are at least three aggravating factors. This is a felony offense and carries a potential 7-year prison sentence.
When facing charges of DWI, whether it is your first or your fourth, you will have to deal with things like license suspension, plate impoundment, and even potentially losing your vehicle. With consequences like this, you have every right to be worried, no matter which county you are facing charges in.
If you are accused of driving under the influence and are in need of a defense attorney, call today. We can offer you a free consultation and some legal advice.