DWI and DUI Laws

Impaired driving laws in Minnesota continue to change, making understanding the laws, consequences and rights of the accused more difficult. Not only is someone accused of DWI facing prosecution (which includes jail time, fines and probation) but there are time sensitive civil issues including driver’s license revocation, “whisky plates” and even vehicle forfeiture, which often arise before you are even charged with a crime.

Some DWI Circumstances are More Severe

If you’ve had more than one DWI in 10 years, had a child in the vehicle, caused personal injury or had a blood alcohol content twice the legal limit or more, you could be facing more severe charges, including a felony. It is critical that you speak to an experienced DWI defense attorney immediately after your arrest so that you know which way to proceed and what is, and is not, required of you by law.

What is the Minnesota Implied Consent Law?

The Minnesota law requires any person who drives, operates or is in physical control of a motor vehicle to consent to a chemical test of their blood, breath, or urine for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol, a controlled substance or a hazardous substance. Minn. Stat. § 169.51.

A person who refuses to submit to a test may be charged with test refusal. Minn. Stat. §169A.52

Is a warrant required for a blood, breath, or urine test?

Given recent cases by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Minn. Court of Appeals there will likely be changes to the Minnesota Implied Consent Law.

The recent U.S. Supreme Court case, Birchfield v. North Dakota held that a warrant is not required for a breath test but is required for a blood test.

State v. Thompson, is currently under review by the Minn. Supreme Court. In that case the Minn. Ct. of Apps found that a warrant was required for a urine test.