Can I Get A DWI If Police Didn’t See Me Driving?

dwi minneapolis

Yes, you can still be charged with a DWI (driving while intoxicated) even if the police did not see you driving. In many jurisdictions, the law prohibits a person from operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The term “operate” may include more than just driving, and can include sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition, even if the car is not running.

In some cases, the police may be able to establish probable cause for a DWI arrest based on other evidence such as an anonymous tip, witness statements, or observation of the driver’s behavior or physical appearance. Additionally, if you are found sleeping in your car with the keys in the ignition and you have been drinking, you may still be charged with a DWI even if you weren’t actually driving the vehicle.

It’s important to note that laws and procedures regarding DWI arrests can vary by jurisdiction, so if you have specific questions or concerns about a situation you are in, you should consult with a criminal defense attorney in Minneapolis to practice in your area.

Can I be charged with DWI while sleeping in my car in Minnesota?

Yes, you can be charged with a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in Minnesota even if you are sleeping in your car. In Minnesota, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The key question in such cases is whether you were in “physical control” of the vehicle. If you were in physical control of the vehicle, even if the engine was not running, you could be charged with a DWI.

In Minnesota, physical control of a vehicle can be established if you are in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, the keys are in the ignition, and you have the ability to operate the vehicle. This means that even if you are not actually driving the car, but you are in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition, you could be charged with a DWI.

It’s important to note that the penalties for a DWI conviction in Minnesota can be severe, and can include fines, jail time, and loss of your driver’s license.

What are the consequences of DWI in Minnesota?

The consequences of a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) conviction in Minnesota can be serious and may include both criminal and administrative penalties.

Criminal penalties for a DWI conviction in Minnesota depend on a variety of factors, including your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at the time of the offense, whether you have any prior DWI convictions, and whether anyone was injured or killed as a result of the offense. Generally, the penalties can include:

  • Fines: Depending on the circumstances of the offense, fines can range from $1,000 to $14,000.
  • Jail Time: Jail time can range from 90 days to 7 years, depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.
  • Driver’s License Suspension: Your driver’s license can be suspended for anywhere from 30 days to 6 years, depending on the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.
  • Ignition Interlock Device (IID): You may be required to install an IID in your vehicle, which requires you to pass a breathalyzer test before starting your car. The length of time you’re required to have an IID depends on your criminal history and the circumstances of your offense.

In addition to these criminal penalties, there are administrative penalties that can affect your driving privileges, even if you are not convicted of a crime. Administrative penalties can include:

  • Driver’s License Revocation: Your driver’s license can be revoked for 30 days to 6 years, depending on the circumstances of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.
  • Plate Impoundment: Your license plates may be impounded, and you may be required to obtain special “whiskey plates” that identify you as a driver with a previous DWI conviction.

It’s important to note that the consequences of a DWI conviction can be severe and long-lasting. If you are facing a DWI charge in Minnesota, you should consult with a criminal defense lawyer Kirk Anderson today.


DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this article does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Please contact attorney Kirk Anderson for an initial consultation.