Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol
Q: My friend went in the ditch last weekend and was given a citation for Failure to Drive with Due Care. It seems to me that is wasn’t his fault because the wind was blowing snow across the road making the roads slippery. Why was he issued a citation? A: Speeding or traveling too fast for conditions is one of the top contributing factors in fatal and
Q: Is it illegal to flash my high beams at another driver that is approaching me with their high beams on? When it's dark, drizzling, raining and or snowing, I see vehicles that don’t have their lights on. Please remind everyone who reads your column to use their lights and remind them that they can be ticketed, right?
Q: I don’t have a remote starter installed in my car. Is it illegal to leave it running while I go inside my house as it warms up and defrosts the windows? A: There is no state law that prohibits it, but most cities have local ordinances against it. In Duluth, it is a violation of City Ordinance 33-91 to leave your vehicle unattended with the keys in it. Check your local city ordinances in reference to this rule.
Q: I was arrested for DWI. Where do I find information about ignition interlock?
Q: My neighbor has cattle and horses, and I know they had gotten out of their fences and onto the road a few times. If they are struck by a vehicle, can he be cited or sued?
Q: My ex-husband was pulled a few months back and charged with a DWI. According to his report he paid just about $1,000 in fines prior to his court date. In court he was fined another $400 and that was it! He was not ordered to place the “whiskey plates” on his truck. He had a suspended license for a measly 30 days.
Q: The other night my coworker got pulled over and was given a warning about ride height. It was not slammed to the ground but the trooper said that it was illegal. What is the Minnesota state law for ride height? A: Typically we get questions about how high a vehicle can be and what is the maximum bumper height, but the law applies to both high and low profile vehicles.
Q: When troopers pull over a vehicle, why do they approach it on the traffic side rather than the passenger window? I have observed some other law enforcement agencies approach from the passenger side and thought it made sense from a safety perspective. A: Which side the officer approaches during a traffic stop comes down to personal preference. Officers are trained in both approaches, and they both have their advantages and disadvantages.
Q: I have a question about carrying a driver’s license while operating a vehicle. It was passed on to me that in Minnesota one must have the driver’s license in the front seat area or glove compartment. Having it in a purse or backpack in the backseat or trunk is not allowed. Is this correct information? If so, what is the reason?
Q: Can a state trooper write a traffic ticket for an infraction that they did not witness? A: A peace officer may arrest or issue a citation for a traffic violation and a number of other misdemeanor or gross misdemeanor offenses even though the officer didn’t see it. The traffic infractions include: