As an adult in Minneapolis, drinking alcohol at social events may not be a problem for you. However, how you find your way home after a few drinks could cause an issue under some circumstances. In fact, even if you are not driving, a law enforcement officer could arrest you for driving while under the influence. At the Law Office of John J. Leunig, we understand that the DWI law includes a particular phrase that is not always clear to drivers until after they have been arrested.

According to the Minnesota House of Representatives, if within two hours of driving or being in physical control of a motor vehicle, a chemical test shows that you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent, you are guilty of a crime. It is the phrase, “in physical control,” which many people do not interpret correctly, and which could lead a person into legal trouble.

Physical control has been more clearly defined by the Minnesota court system in cases that span the course of more than two decades. For example, the court determined physical control in one case where a person with a BAC over the legal limit was sleeping in the vehicle, and had the keys. If you are found in this condition, it is assumed that you could wake up while still inebriated and make the poor judgment call to drive away.

You do not actually even have to be in the vehicle to be arrested for DWI. In one case, because the vehicle’s engine was running, and the driver was within 20 feet of the vehicle while intoxicated, the court ruled that physical control was established. For more information about the charges and penalties of driving under the influence defined by state law, please visit our page.

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