A couple of weeks ago we wrote about a slight change in the implied consent rule thanks to a new interpretation of the rule by the Minnesota Supreme Court. In a follow-up to that post, this post will look at another decision the Minnesota Supreme Court made in relation to implied consent — but this time, it has to do with breath tests and an individual who refuses to take one.
Implied consent compels an individual to take a breath test when they are accused of a DUI. As part of your agreement to have a driver’s license, you thus “consent” to any breath test that an officer tells you to take. It’s part of the privilege of driving. However, there was a significant challenge to this view of implied consent here in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it did not favor those who are accused of drunk driving.
The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a breath test does not constitute an unwarranted search and, thus, people do not have the right to refuse such a request by the police. This doesn’t change anything, really. It’s still the status quo with breath tests.
But this serves as another important reminder about how the criminal system treats DUIs. The rules are very rigid and there is very little leniency with these offenses. If you are accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you need to get an attorney right away to protect your rights and help you with the case.
Source: Albert Lea Tribune, “Minnesota Supreme Court: DWI testing laws are legal,” Associated Press, Feb. 12, 2015