You aren't 21 yet, but some of your friends are. You went on what was supposed to be a exciting night out with your friends, and then things went an unfortunate and unwelcome direction. You were driving and got pulled over. The officer claimed to have smelled alcohol, and now you're facing charges of driving with a blood alcohol concentration over 0.0 percent while under the age of 21. Minnesota has a policy on underage DWI that limits you to no alcohol in your system whatsoever when it comes to driving.
Can you fight a DWI charge and the zero-tolerance limit?
There are various grounds under which charges of underage DWI could potentially be challenged. For one, there are ways a person could fail a breath test without drinking alcohol. Various things that aren't illegal, such as swigging mouthwash or even eating food cooked in alcohol could potentially make your blood alcohol concentration rise above 0.0 percent.
What should you do if you're accused of being intoxicated while underage?
The first thing you should remember is that it's important to be very careful when speaking to police. Even comments you think might be fairly innocuous could inadvertently be incriminating. If you're asked to take a breath test, you do need to submit to it or could lose your license.
There are harsh penalties for DWIs in Minnesota, even if you aren't underage. In fact, if you are, then there may even more to worry about. It may well be in your best interests to stay quiet and to ask to speak with an attorney if you're arrested. You generally should discuss your case with an attorney before you talk to the police or go to a court hearing for the charges brought against you. It's always best to be informed when dealing with these types of charges.