Our office received a letter from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services (DPS) regarding the repercussions of the potential government shutdown. The letter stated, in part, that
“[b]ecause we do not know whether the biennial budget process will conclude in time to avoid a disruption to our operations, we must advise all that in the absence of legislatively authorized appropriate as of July 1, 2011, all work, activity, and performances under our current agreements must be suspended as of that date, pending authorized appropriations."
As a practicing defense attorney, this letter provoked many questions and concerns for our clients dealing with driver’s license issues such as the following:
1. Will our clients who are in the process of getting their driver’s licenses back be able to get their licenses?
2. Will our clients who receive DWI offenses have their licenses revoked or will they have to wait until the state operates again?
3. Will our clients who have their licenses canceled, suspended or revoked actually lose their licenses or do they have to wait until the state is back in operation?
4. What about this new ignition interlock program, which is mandatory in some DWI cases, can our clients get on this program? If not, how long will our clients have to wait to get on the program and will this prolong their probationary period?
5. How will our client’s cases move through the court system if no one is working at the DPS?
Unfortunately, at this point no one seems to have any answers to these questions because no one really knows how the State will be affected. The DPS does not have any answers either and recommends monitoring the state web sites, bulletins, and media publications for further information.
At Bradshaw & Bryant, our attorneys and staff are keeping a close watch on this issue to make sure that when you call for advice, you receive assistance from experienced attorneys who are up to date with the latest issues surrounding the state shutdown. We put the time in to closely monitor this issue and make a difference for you.