What is a Qualified Prior Impaired Driving Incident?
Qualified prior impaired driving incidents consist of previous impaired driving losses and prior impaired driving convictions. The loss of vehicle operating freedoms in additional types of driving incidents that have occurred in the last decade – along with the loss of a license resulting from implied consent revocation – are regarded as as prior impaired driving losses. Prior impaired driving events can include alcohol-related license cancellations, revocations and disqualifications, even if there was no criminal conviction.
Minnesota law states that a qualified prior impaired driving incident involves the operation of a motor vehicle or motorboat while impaired. A qualified prior impaired driving incident includes all criminal vehicular operations that involve controlled substances or alcohol, irrespective of whether the convictions occurred in Minnesota or a different state.
A qualified prior impaired driving incident that occurred in the last ten years is deemed an aggravating factor under Minnesota driving while impaired (DWI) laws. It can heighten the severity of a current offense and can even result in harsher penalties. Enhancing a conviction happens when an individual is charged with a more severe offense due to a previous offense. Previous implied consent revocations might be handled as a previous conviction. In other words, if you were previously arrested for a DWI that was reduced to a lesser charge, your current charge can be enhanced.
If any of the following circumstances exist, you can be charged with felony DWI as well: you were previously convicted of a Minnesota felony DWI, you were convicted of a prior felony vehicular homicide or criminal vehicular operation, or you’ve experienced three prior qualified prior impaired driving incidents in the last decade.
It is in fact possible to prevent a qualified prior impaired driving incident from being used against you in your present case. Your lawyer must prove the prior conviction or revocation was not constitutionally received. The prosecution must first present a valid waiver to apply your earlier conviction in the case. Nonetheless, this waiver of rights cannot be easily produced if the defendant had counsel present during the earlier offense. If this right to counsel was waived when the previous offense occurred, the prosecution might not find the valid waiver.