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Eden Prairie man heading to ER accused of fleeing, test refusal

Hennepin County officials accuse an Eden Prairie man of fleeing police after law enforcement followed the man in his car to the emergency room at Fairview Hospital in Edina. Law enforcement claims that officers spotted a car traveling at erratic speeds on Highway 212 at around 5:30 in the morning on April 3. Police also claim that the car was crossing the lane markers on the highway. Officers apparently decided to conduct a traffic stop.

However, law enforcement claims that after police attempted to pull the car over, the driver continued down the road. At one point, police were able to directly communicate with the driver of the car through open windows. As police drove alongside the car, police assert that the driver said that he was heading to the hospital for an emergency.

Officers note that an elderly man was sitting in the passenger seat. Nonetheless, police continued the chase, and continued to attempt pull the vehicle over. Authorities say that the driver sped down the highway, at times traveling up to 90 miles per hour.

Eventually, the chase ended at Fairview Southdale. The driver and his elderly passenger got out of the car and headed toward the emergency room entrance. Police say that the elderly passenger said that he needed medical attention for a possible heart attack. Hennepin County officials say that the elderly man, who is the father of the driver, checked out fine at the hospital.

Police say that the driver smelled of alcohol and concluded that there was no false alarm. Instead, authorities jumped to the conclusion that the trip to the emergency room was a ruse to avoid criminal charges. The driver is charged with felony fleeing police and DWI test refusal related to the allegations.

Test refusal allegations in Minnesota are controversial, especially since the United States Supreme Court ruled last year that the dissipation of alcohol alone does not create a per se exception to the warrant requirement in DWI investigations to allow law enforcement to draw blood without a warrant. Courts have struggled with how that ruling should apply in DWI cases -- especially in DWI test refusal cases, which are based upon the government's implied consent theory.

Source: Sun Current, "Police chase ensues after man speeds to hospital," Natalie Conrad, April 18, 2014

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