DWI: Why You Need an Attorney

One in every 7  Minnesota drivers has at least one DWI.

That means  if you have friends, neighbors, employees, colleagues, or family and you don’t get into DWI trouble, they might.

If you go to  happy hour or have a few drinks while watching the game or a few glasses of wine with dinner, you should know someone you can call in confidence–or recommend to others–who knows the law, knows the process, and can help you get out of this mess.  I can help.

Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, once the lights start flashing, you need to know what to do.  I can help.

Once you’re charged with a DWI, the consequences can be far-reaching and long-lasting.

Whiskey Plates

If your DWI charge has one of several aggravating factors you could get “Whiskey Plates” simple blue-and-white license plates, no images or pictures, just stark letters and numbers that start with a “WH,” “WK,” or “WJ” to identify you to  anyone who recognizes them as having a DWI.  Cops know this and will pull you over.  Whiskey plates will be on your car shouting to all that you have a DWI, when you shop for groceries, go to church, or take your kid to school.  Whiskey plates have to be on every car the driver owns, even if he jointly owns it with his wife (or vice versa).  And every car he drives.  Yes, you can get whiskey plates on your company car or on a car you borrowed.  “‘The person cited has to re-register all of his or her vehicles, not just the one involved in the violation,’ said Sgt. Don Marose of the Minnesota State Patrol.” (Karen Youso (2007-03-23). “Fixit: ‘Whiskey plates’ indicate a DUI”. Minneapolis Star Tribune. Retrieved 2009-06-27.)

Housing, Jobs, Licenses, Volunteering:

Having a DWI charge on your record can affect your housing (whether you rent or try to buy).  It can affect your current or any future job.  A DWI can affect your professional license (renewal or application), even volunteer applications ask about criminal convictions.

The penalties and repercussions of a DWI charge can cascade.

Ignition Interlock:

Under the new DWI law that went into effect in July 2011, there is a greatly increased likelihood of having to drive with an ignition interlock device, a tube you have to blow into before you can start your car, for a year or more.  And that’s not all: you have to blow when the device beeps, periodically throughout a drive.  Try that with a client or date or friend in the car.

Driver’s License:

Even without the interlock, you can lose your driving license for thirty days, ninety days, or a year (or more).


Getting your license back will cost $680.00.  You will also have to pay $25.00 to take the post-DWI driving test (written), and you are likely to have to take a One Day DWI class that costs $340.00.  That’s over $1,000.00 in costs before your insurance company finds out and cancels your policy and you have to shop for a new one with the DWI and cancellation on your record.

Hire a lawyer .  Beat the charges.  Minimize the consequences.  Do not face the state alone.

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