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E-DWI pushes charges through even faster in Minnesota

After an arrest in Minnesota, the suspect needs to be charged with an actual crime within 36 hours. If not, the suspect must be let go. With paperwork and the back-and-forth that goes on between the police, the prosecutor's office and the courts, this 36-hour window of opportunity can sometimes close before charges are pressed.

However, with new technology, suspects in Minnesota can now expect to see criminal charges much faster.

For example, let's say a college student is arrested in Lakeville, Minnesota. It used to be that after the arrest, the officer would have to drive to Hastings and file paperwork between the prosecutor's office and the courts. This of course was rather time consuming.

Now, however, background checks, state laws and charges all can be done from one location by the swipe of an officer's fingerprint. With these E-Charging and E-DWI systems, the multiple agencies' computers are all connected and the process tends to run a whole lot smoother.

Of course, police are toting the benefits of spending less time with paperwork and more time out on the roads patrolling. However, for the person suspected of drunk driving, or any other crime, charges could come a whole lot sooner.

As of now E-Charging and E-DWI are systems only used in the state of Minnesota. About half of the agencies in the state are onboard with the systems and the rest of the agencies should be using the technology by 2014.

What do you think of the new systems? Is there too much room for error? Will charges too hastily be pressed? Why haven't states outside of Minnesota adopted these technologies?

Source: 5 Eyewitness News, "E-Charging and E-DWI's Save Time and Money for Minn. Police," Beth McDonough, March 17, 2013

  • Whether a person was arrested and charged through the traditional system or this new technology, our firm can handle the case. To learn more, visit our Minneapolis DUI defense page.

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