Minnesota’s High DUI Repeat Rate Prompts Backlash

When a Minnesota State Trooper pulled over a swerving, stop-sign-running driver, the officer discovered that the driver had 27 past DUI arrests on his record. And he still had a valid driver’s license in Minnesota.

The news produced strong reactions from the public and lawmakers, most calling for stronger penalties and more enforcement. The “get tough on crime” folks and State Representative Dario Anselmo, R-Edina, are considering proposing legislation that permanently revokes your driver’s license after five DUI convictions.

Keeping Perspective

Thankfully, cases like this are rare. Records show most DUI arrests are for first-time offenders. These individuals simply made a mistake, regret their action, seek treatment if needed and never have a problem again.

Additionally, statistics show that overall DUI arrests and DUI-related fatal accidents have gone down since 2006. There are a few explanations:

  • Safer cars: Since 2006, older cars have been replaced by newer safer models that save more lives in extremely dangerous single-car or multiple-car accidents.
  • Improved treatment: Additionally, treatment and rehabilitation also produce measurable results in reducing the chance that someone will drive drunk.
  • Budget cuts: State and federal budget cuts to local police departments have forced law enforcement agencies to limit the DUI patrols they have on the road. As a result, fewer drivers are caught and fewer are arrested now.

Knee-Jerk Reactions May Harm More Than Help

The man arrested in September is an egregious example of a DUI repeat offender who has been able to hang onto his license after each conviction. Even still, it did bring to light Minnesota’s “statistically high” rate of repeat offenders. Additionally, this situation sparked extreme public and legislative knee-jerk reactions—reactions that could adversely affect even first-time DUI arrests.

What Does This Mean For You?

If new legislation moves forward, it’s likely even a first DUI will carry with it more severe penalties. These penalties will go beyond criminal consequences, affecting your license and insurance.

If You Are Arrested for DUI, Contact Us Immediately

Whether it is your first or fifth DUI arrest in Minnesota, you need to protect your rights and try to keep your license. We believe that people are better off being able to continue to get to their jobs and earn a living. We also believe that you should be able to keep your insurance because that makes everyone safer. We will work to keep your license and insurance. Get in touch immediately to discuss your best next steps.

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