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DUI and the holidays – law enforcement in Minnesota taking aggressive approach
Holiday DUI enforcement will be increasing within Minnesota.

Many people will take to roadways throughout Minnesota during the holiday season. Whether it is an office party or a gathering with relatives, spending time with others is one of the things that most people look forward to this time of year.

Often, there will be alcoholic beverages consumed at these gatherings. While motorists know the dangers of drinking and driving, some may not feel as though they are impaired and attempt to drive. Law enforcement is extremely aggressive in patrolling for DUIs during the holidays.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety reports that there have already been nearly 1,300 arrests for DUI within the state for the first half of December 2012. Several counties have received additional funding for DUI campaigns that will run through New Year’s Day.

Many people do not know what happens during a DUI stop. Law enforcement officers need to follow specific procedures in order to investigate if a motorist is operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Officers will often look for signs of erratic driving before making a traffic stop. Speeding, failing to signal turns or weaving between lanes of traffic may be reasons for officers to pull a vehicle over.

Once the stop has been started, law enforcement will start looking for additional signs of impairment. Does the motorist slur his or her speech? Does he or she have glassy eyes? Is there alcohol present in the vehicle or does the driver smell like he or she has been drinking?

If any of the signs are present, the officer may ask the motorist to begin performing field sobriety tests. If the driver fails these tests, he or she will be asked to submit to a breath test to check for the presence of alcohol. Minnesota has an implied consent law, which means that if a motorist is operating a vehicle on roadways within the state, they agree to submit to this test if requested. Failing to do so will result in a driver’s license being revoked.

If the motorist is charged with DUI, he or she could be facing significant penalties. Jail times, high fines and increased insurance costs are all possible. Drivers may also see their license suspended for a period of time, and they will have to comply with several requirements before it will be reinstated.

All of this can make even the most basic tasks like driving to work much more difficult. If you have been arrested for DUI, it is extremely important to take the charges seriously. Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to understand what you can do to protect your rights during this difficult time.

Prosecutors will aggressively pursue convictions in drunk driving cases. Do not simply accept a plea deal in the hopes that this will make the matter go away. Each conviction will only increase the penalties that you may be facing, so it is important to know the options that are available in your situation.

Keywords: DUI, drunk driving
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