MN Judges Going Easy on Felony Drunk Drivers


Despite a 2002 Minnesota law designed to send chronic drunk drivers to prison for a minimum of three years, more than 40 percent of felony DWI offenders who could be given the harsh penalties are getting county jail terms of a year or less, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

Judges told the paper they are only exercising discretion that they are allowed under the law, but critics disagree. “The judges unilaterally are engaged in a pattern of undermining the public’s will as to how dangerous this crime is,” said Susan Gaertner, a county attorney in Minnesota. “I don’t understand why, approximately half the time, the judges are giving these felons yet another break.”


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