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Drunk Driver Penalties To Increase

PENALTY FOR DRUNK DRIVING INCREASE WITH AMOUNT OF ALCOHOL CONSUMED

The Minnesota Legislature recently increased the penalties for a drunk driver in some situations. We are happy about this change in the law because our lawyers see first-hand the severe impact drunk drivers have when they cause an auto accident. Here is an excerpt of a report about the law change we saw over the weekend in the Star Tribune:

“The Legislature this year lowered the threshold for a gross misdemeanor drunken driving offense to a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .16 percent. That’s still twice the legal limit for misdemeanor DWIs, but it’s .04 percentage point lower than the previous trigger for seriously impaired driving violations.

The change will expose those crunk driver defendants to maximum one-year jail terms, up from 90 days under the misdemeanor standard. It would triple the current $1,000 maximum fine. And it would authorize stiffer bail, result in much higher auto insurance rates and more painful legal bills. Gross misdemeanor convictions also can mean stiffer penalties for subsequent DWIs.

Research shows that the likelihood of getting involved in an accident spikes above a BAC of .15, said Sen. Ron Latz, DFL-St. Louis Park, the chief sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.

From 2011 through 2013, 77 people died in Minnesota and 42 others were injured in crashes involving drunk drivers with BAC levels between .16 and .19. An average of 99 people died each year in all alcohol-related accidents in Minnesota in those years, and an average of 2,440 were injured.

Alcohol-related traffic crashes in Minnesota cost an estimated $204 million in medical expenses, property damage and lost productivity in 2013.”

At the Rochlin Law Firm, we have represented many people injured by drunk drivers.  When our attorneys sue the drunk driver we get some measure of justice for our clients. If you or a family member are injured in an auto accident caused by a drunk driver in MN, please call us and speak with an experienced lawyer about your case.  We will provide you with a free consultation at our office or your home, and we never charge anything unless we get compensation for you.