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I just got my first DWI and I blew a 2.1 at the station

Minneapolis, MN |
Attorney answers 4


Police in Minnesota are not supposed to read a Miranda warning during a DWI stop, and not until questioning the suspect after arrest. When they do, it is generally after the evidentiary sample for alcohol. If you "blew a .21" at the roadside, that would be on a "Preliminary Breath Test" or "PBT." Those can be off by as much as 50%, even when working properly.

I have won numerous DWI cases, in countless different ways. This experience has taught me that it is worth fighting to win, given how much is at stake. I appreciate people who try to think of defenses, even though they lack criminal law training and experience. Yet - in the end a person needs a good defense lawyer to have a chance of winning.

Beware that one only has 30 days after a drivers license revocation under Minnesota's implied consent statute - within which to serve and file legal papers to request a court hearing on the revocation. If that deadline is missed, it will forever be too late.

Bottom line: retain a good Minnesota DWI lawyer, and soon.


your focus on lack of Miranda warnings is most likely misplaced. The warnings are required only after you have been placed under arrest. The lack of warnings only prevents the state from using any statements you made against you after being arrested. Not being read Miranda does not result in automatic dismisal of the charges. on the other hand, there are a lot of non Miranda defenses available to you. You would be well served to consult with a lawyer.


Testing at a level over 0.20 brings added consequences that really make this matter worth fighting. You will be charged with a gross misdemeanor instead of just a misdemeanor, facing plate impoundment for one year on all vehicles you own, dealing with double the length of license revocation, and waiting twice as long to get a work permit. Your criminal fine also will be about 3 times higher and length of probation will be longer. Since your alcohol level was so close to that 0.20 threshold, it's very possible for an attorney to get charges reduced, fines lowered, license revocations cut in half, etc. It may even be possible to get your license revocation postponed for a few months or more while an attorney fights your case. This is truly one of those situations where an experienced DWI attorney can help someone who is "guilty" of something.
As for the Miranda rights, I wouldn't focus on that issue too much. There are cases in Minnesota that say that officers aren't required to read Miranda rights when arresting someone for DWI. However, there are likely some other issues that could help your case. A DWI lawyer will be able to go through all the discovery in your case (police reports, audio, video, etc.) and find arguable issues that could help win your case or get it reduced. Act quickly to preserve your rights since there are strict deadlines that apply. Good luck!


Thank you for the post.

It is always wise to have legal representation. That is particularly true on a first offense where your blood alcohol level was so high.

If you had a Blood Alcohol Content over .20, you were charged with a third degree offense. This is very serious and carries with it maximum criminal penalties of one year in jail and a $3000 fine. If convicted there are also mandatory minimum penalties of $1000 and 30 days in jail. Different Judges give different sentences. As a result, understanding your Judge and knowing how to change Judge's can be an important part of the process.

There is also a civil case that results in the revocation of your driver's license. On a third degree offense, you may be revoked for up to six months. This is a separate case even though the challenges are largely the same. In order to challenge you license revocation, you must seek a judicial review by filing a petition within 30 days of the offense.

There are many challenges to a DWI. In particular urine tests have come under great fire recently given the inaccuracies prevalent with the sientific tests.

Other points of a defense anaylsis include:

· Reasonable Suspicion. The officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe a specific crime has been committed in order to stop a person. If that reasonable suspicion is lacking the stop and the ticket may be invalid;

· Probable Cause to arrest and charge. The officer must make sufficient observations to form a basis for probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Oftentimes, officers perform field sobriety tests incorrectly making the arrest invalid;

· Procedures at the Station. The officer must follow very specific procedures at the station including reading and recording an Implied Consent Advisory that informs you that you have a right to a lawyer. If any of the steps are omitted, the charges may be dismissed;

· Test Procedures. Testing methods to determine blood alcohol concentrations are imperfect at best. Like any scientific method, any test result has a margin of error. If the machinery is not properly maintained and even if it is properly maintained, the test results may vary from true Blood Alcohol Concentration. A sufficient variation may result in a reduce charge or no charge.

I have more than 17 years of experience in defending against DWI charges. We have affordable legal fees and provide aggressive representation.

Call for a FREE Consultation call us at 612.240.8005.