Move Over Law in Minnesota Gets an Upgrade

Recently, this past summer, Minnesota’s Move Over Law got an upgrade. Previously, the law only required drivers to move over for emergency vehicles with flashing lights activated, such as law enforcement, ambulances, fire, construction, and tow trucks. Now, the new law expanded to stalled and disabled vehicles with flashing lights or at least one person visibly present outside the vehicle. This applies to traveling on a road with at least two lanes requiring drivers to move over one full lane away from the stopped vehicle.

Thus, if you see a car on the shoulder with its four-way flashing (hazard) lights on, then you should move over. If not, you can be stopped by law enforcement and cited for failing to move over. Additionally, that traffic stop often leads to other things such as a DWI or drug possession. Police officers, especially those on increased DWI patrols, are consistently looking for reasons to stop motor vehicles. The reasons can be as simple as minor speed, but they can also include the stop du jour – failing to move over. Not only does moving your vehicle over when someone is stopped on the shoulder make the roadways safer, it can prevent an unnecessary police contact, which can be stressful in itself.

If you happen to be pulled over by law enforcement, stay calm the best you can. Do not volunteer possibly incriminating information, ask the officers if you must answer certain questions, and call an attorney at the earliest possibly allowed point. If you end up getting cited with a minor traffic violation, or something more serious such as a DWI, then feel free to contact us for case review at no charge, contact us by phone or text at: 612-547-3199. You can also reach us by email at:

Misdemeanors are punishable by up to ninety days in jail and a $1,000 fine. Most first-time traffic offenses, such as failing to move over for an emergency or stopped vehicle do not end up with the violator serving jail time. But, there can still be impact on a person’s criminal record and driving record. Keeping offenses from hitting your criminal and traffic record is worth exploring through the court process, especially if a stay of adjudication or continuance from dismissal is reasonably available. Or explore the court process, if you have a legitimate issue to challenge in your case and want to have a pre-trial hearing challenging the admissibility of evidence, motions to dismiss, or eventually a trial. Or, if you simply want to exercise your constitutional rights to a trial and put the prosecution to its burden of proof.

Robert H. Ambrose is a criminal defense attorney and DWI lawyer in Minnesota. Super Lawyers named him Super Lawyer the past two years and a Rising Star the previous six years. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. DWI Attorney Woodbury MN, Criminal Defense Lawyer Minneapolis MN, Criminal Lawyer Minnesota.