There is a major change coming to DUI and Interlock law that will have an impact on many Source Code clients and clients who are reinstated pending the outcome of their cases (in Hennepin and Ramsey Counties). It has the potential to jump up and bite the unwary lawyer (and client).
Today, a First Time DUI offender who has a reported BAC value between .16 and .199 is facing a license revocation of 1 year. If that same person pleads guilty to the 4th Degree DWI/DUI (although there is a school of thought that it must be to the Under the Influence Charge) their license revocation will drop to 30 days. This loophole exists because the 2010 changes to the license revocation left unchanged the section of the statute that allowed the revocation period of a test under .20 to be reduced to 30 days.
That statute (§169A.54 subd. 1) is set to change. Bills pending in the Minnesota House and Senate will close that loophole by moving the BAC that qualifies for the administrative knockdown from .20 to “twice the legal limit” or .16. This will mean that anyone with a test result of .16 or above may be subject to the new revocation periods.
Adding to the issues created by this loophole closing is the unknown issue of when this change to the law might take effect. Senate File No.
1072 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=S1072.1.html&session=ls87) has an effective date of 7/1/2012, while House File No. 1284 (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bin/bldbill.php?bill=H1284.4.html&session=ls87) is effective the day following final enactment.
Given that the Legislature is looking to adjourn as soon as possible, this section could become effective in the next several weeks.
It might be an excellent time for lawyers to review their Source Code clients and those clients who have been reinstated pending the outcome of their case to identify those clients who are between .16 and .199, identify the likelihood of success on the merits of their case, and perhaps look at finding a resolution to the case. Ensuring that the client has a short license revocation may be the best resolution for the client in this case.
As always, feel free to call us with any of your ignition interlock questions.