In addition to criminal consequences for a DWI/DUI arrest, police often seize the license plates of the vehicle driven during a DWI/DUI. When the police seize the plates, they give the driver a notice of plate impoundment. This notice informs the driver that they are not allowed to drive with the “normal” plates, instead, they will be issued a temporary license plate. These temporary plates are often known as “whiskey plates” because the series of letters on the plates typically start with the letter “W.”
Avoiding An Inconvenient License Plate Impoundment
These license plate impoundments last a minimum of one year in Minnesota. Which is a very long time to publicly display your mistakes. Unfortunately, it can also mean a public display for your entire family. When an individual receives a license plate impoundment, it is not only valid for the vehicle they were driving at the time of the arrest, it actually applies to any vehicles owned or leased by the individual, even if they are jointly owned with another person. So, for a couple with children, that likely means the entire family will have to get whiskey plates on all vehicles.
Can you imagine having to deal with such an inconvenience for a year or longer? Luckily, our attorneys want to help you avoid this fate. You have a limited window of time after your license plate impoundment to fight. We will help you file all the necessary paperwork and gather the information you’ll need to use to fight your plate impoundment.
The Consequences of Whiskey Plates
For many years, the police were allowed to pull over a vehicle and conduct an investigation just because it had whiskey plates. This changed in 2003 when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to pull over a vehicle just because it has whiskey plates. An officer must now have a valid reason for the stop. However, that doesn’t mean that police officers aren’t focusing on and scrutinizing the driving of vehicles with whiskey plates. A whiskey plate can still cause you to be a target of the police’s focus when you’re on the road. It may be best to avoid having whiskey plates if you want to avoid future run-ins with the police.
We Can Help Fight Your Minnesota License Plate Impoundment!
Sieben Edmunds Miller is a criminal defense law firm dedicated to seeing the big picture and helping our clients protect their rights. We know that a license plate impoundment is inconvenient and can be uncomfortable to discuss with friends, family, and employers. We will help you file the necessary documents to fight your plate impoundment so you can get back on the road and back to your everyday life. You can reach us at (651) 994-6744 to get started.