Minnesota DWI - 2018 Year in Review
Posted On January 07, 2019 Charles Ramsay
10 Milestones In 2018 That You Should Pay Attention To
1. DWI Defense Blog turns 10 years old!
Our ten-year blog-aversary (we've been practicing criminal defense far longer than 10 years) came and went without much fanfare, but as this year draws to a close we make note of that anniversary now. In our first-ever blog post we said the purpose of the blog was "to share information and promote excellence." We believe we've done that and continue to do so.
2. Not Guilty Verdicts - Bench Trials - Measurement Uncertainty
We won multiple trials for our clients where the test result was over the legal limit, and we convinced the judge to rule that the breath test machine that produced the DWI result was simply not accurate enough to prove that our client was ACTUALLY above the legal limit.
3. Right to Counsel - Suppression in Breath Test Cases
Another strong area of attack for us in 2018 was fighting for our client's constitutional right to consult with an attorney before submitting to a breath test. When these types of clients originally approach us, they don't even realize that their right to counsel was denied by the cops that arrested them . . . until they find out that we won their case for them based on that exact defense.
Note that there will be further developments in this area of law in 2019, as the fight continues to ensure that drivers who submit to blood and urine tests have the same right to counsel as drivers who submit to breath tests.
4. Daniel Koewler Becomes Partner
In a different sort of "win," we formally announced that attorney Dan Koewler joined Ramsay Law Firm as a partner, after years of district court victories, appellate victories, and numerous seminars and webcasts built his reputation as a tireless warrior for our clients.
5. Forfeiture Laws in Jeopardy!
Forfeiture laws, especially DWI vehicle forfeiture laws, took some heavy hits in 2018. We took the fight against Minnesota's DWI forfeiture law to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, and then the Minnesota Supreme Court, convincing every judge we met along the way that Minnesota's DWI vehicle forfeiture scheme was unconstitutional. Now we're just waiting for the final answer from the Minnesota Supreme Court.
But there was even more action nationwide. The United States Supreme Court is about to decide the constitutionality of other forfeiture laws, while the State of New Mexico is tackling the legality of their own forfeiture law.
6. New DWI Laws
The Minnesota Legislature made some significant changes to our DWI laws, ones targeted towards snowmobilers, boaters, and ATV operators who end up getting convicted of DWI.
7. Minnesota Supreme Court nullifies past DWI fluid test refusal cases
The Minnesota Supreme Court joined North Dakota when it opened the gates for us to attack prior DWI test refusal convictions that were obtained in violation of people's constitutional rights -- and in our opinion, every single one of those convictions were illegal.
We're already raising these challenges for our clients -- and will be blogging about it soon.
8. DataMaster loses its grip on the Data - Reports Higher Results than what is actually measured.
We've briefly blogged about this topic, but within the walls of Ramsay Law Firm it is shaping up to be a VERY big deal. We've seen some alarming breath test results where what the machine reports and what you see when you ask the machine to "show its work" are two VERY different numbers. We'll be looking to blow the lid off of what appears to be a major problem with the trustworthiness of Minnesota's breath test machine in the near future.
9. Beating Ignition Interlock Errors -
We mention it, but we keep on winning cases for our clients who are wrongly accused of violating the ignition interlock program. In fact, more and more of our cases are becoming ignition interlock challenges, where we use our scientific experience to get violation after violation thrown out of court.
10. Looking Forward Towards 2019
If you read this far, you deserve to know the truth: this is actually a list of 9 milestones, but 10 sounds like more than 9, so that was the headline we ran with. But keep checking back anyway -- we'll be elaborating on each of these topics (some more than others) in future posts.