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The unofficial end of summer is approaching fast. Many people throughout Minnesota celebrate the Labor Day holiday at parks, boating on rivers and lakes, or throwing a barbeque with friends and family. Alcohol is frequently present. While consuming alcohol with friends is a time-honored function during holiday celebrations, law enforcement is particularly aggressive in enforcing Minnesota’s tough DWI laws when holidays approach.

Over the past decade, DWI arrests have declined roughly 40 percent in the state, according to the Minnesota Department Transportation. However, in the weeks before Labor Day, DWI arrests seem to peak each year. Law enforcement agencies throughout the state are already putting extra patrols on the roads in anticipation of the Labor Day holiday in early September. MNDOT says that extra DWI patrols can be expected throughout the state through September 5.

Minnesota’s DWI Laws Also Apply To Motorized Boats

It is important to note that individuals operating a motorized boat while impaired can face drunk driving charges. The charges are frequently referred to as boating while impaired (BWI). The charges are really no different than DWI charges involving a car, motorcycle or other vehicle driven on Minnesota roads. The potential consequences are the same if a conviction is entered.

It is always a good idea to have a designated driver available to avoid DWI charges altogether. However, many people are pulled over after a holiday celebration while heading home. Others may be stopped while boating on rivers and lakes and investigated for an offense. In these situations, it is important for anyone accused of BWI or DWI to speak with an attorney who has experience defending against these complex charges to protect rights.