Some people may think that if you are pulled over by the police under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you have the right to refuse a breath test. This changes from state to state, but in Minnesota, you actually can’t refuse a breath test. It’s called “implied consent,” which means that if you are lawfully arrested by a police officer for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances, you are legally obligated to perform a breath, blood or urine test.
You do have the right to refuse a preliminary test, such as a field sobriety test. However, it is unlikely to help your case in any way. Still, you have that right.
Even though you are locked into a breath test when you are under the suspicion of DUI, the accusations don’t begin and end there. There are a variety of complications on the part of the police or on the past of the breath test equipment that could lead to your case being dismissed or dramatically altered.
For example, what if the police didn’t make a lawful arrest? What if the officer didn’t follow the instructions for how to implement and use the breath test equipment? What if the equipment itself was faulty or incorrectly calibrated?
These are just a few of the myriad examples of breath test issues that can lead to a drunk driving or DUI charge being dismissed. Even though you are locked in to “implied consent,” it doesn’t mean you will end up with a DUI on your record.
Source: Drivinglaws.org, “Minnesota DWI/DUI: Refusal to Take a Blood, Breath or Urine Test,” Teresa Wall-Cyb, Accessed July 18, 2014