Fixit: 'Whiskey plates' indicate a DUI

  • Article by: KAREN YOUSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 23, 2007 - 6:20 PM

Q Occasionally I see Minnesota plates that are plain white with blue lettering on them beginning with WV, WU, etc. What is the significance of these plates?

Q Occasionally I see Minnesota plates that are plain white with blue lettering on them beginning with WV, WU, etc. What is the significance of these plates?

A. Referred to by some as "whiskey plates," the license plates signify that the vehicle was used in an alcohol violation. The plates are issued, and the previous plates pulled, in any of the following situations:

• A prior DUI (driving under the influence) within the past 10 years

• Driving with a blood alcohol level greater than 0.20 percent.

• DUI with a child in the vehicle

The person cited has to re-register all of his or her vehicles, not just the one involved in the violation, said Sgt. Don Marose of the Minnesota State Patrol. In addition, he or she cannot drive any other car, new or borrowed, without these special plates. The plates are good for one year.

Newspaper stars

Q What do the tiny stars on the upper left-hand corner of each news section of the paper mean? The number varies from day to day and from one section to another.

A Every time a section of the paper is updated, a star is placed in the upper left corner. Sometimes it's just one, but there have been sections with as many as six stars, said Nicole Hvidsten, features production chief at the Star Tribune.

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