by Mark Giancola Esq., Criminal Specialist.
As of July 1, 2011 alcohol offenses in Minnesota will carry harsh new license revocation changes. Click on this link to see the changes, https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=ccrhf3106.html&session=ls86
Of signifcant note. New "Twice the Legal Limit" language, changes the .20 law currently on the books to .16 for enhanced penalties. New revocation periods for 2nd, 3rd, and 4th offenses to two, three and six years along with ignition interlock requirements for limited, or "Work Permit", licenses. One bright note is the elimination of the "B" card designation for drivers with 10 years of sobriety and driving history with no alcohol or drug offenses.
These changes raise many issues that will most likely get worked out in the courts. For example, the new law carries significant penalties for "physical control" of a motor vehicle that is not equipped with an ignition interlock by a person required to have an interlock and who is on the program. So if you are found in a vehicle without an interlock and the keys are in the vehicle and you had no choice in the matter, (similar to our current dui physical control), even with no alcohol involved, what will happen? Or how about the Non-Resident driver, as one Minnesota Attorney, Jeff Sheridan, has pointed out, will that person be subject to our draconian standards if his state does not have a "progaram" that complies? What about vehcle forfeitures? Will the State now want to return vehicles so they can be equipped with interlocks? Will the policy of removal of the "criminal implement" change to allow for forced compliance or will we continue to have persons buy cheap vehicles and drive illegally? These are only a few of the issues raised by the new law. This law takes effect on July 1, 2011 as stated earlier.
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