Since 2012, The Minnesota state patrol has been cracking down on drunken driving by conducting campaigns in which they increase their patrols and pull over those who they suspect of being intoxicated while behind the wheel. One campaign tends to net over 100 arrests. In the meantime, law enforcement sometimes uses Twitter to notify the public of the arrests.
When an individual is arrested in Minnesota for DWI, it is best that they now what their rights are in the matter. Some of these arrests have merit and others don’t. Even those that do have merit can sometimes be escalated when they don’t need to be. Law enforcement tends to pursue the maximum charges in order to secure the maximum penalties.
In order for a police officer to ask a person to take a breath test or a field sobriety test, the officer must have reasonable suspicion and probable cause that a person was drinking while driving. Examples of behavior that could result in an investigation can include crossing left of center, not driving straight, making an illegal turn, not using the turn signal when passing or changing lanes, causing a traffic accident, and frequent braking.
If the officer has reasonable suspicion, they are allowed to make the stop and detain the individual for a short period of time in order to conduct their investigation. The officer may ask the driver to take a breath test and/or field sobriety tests if it is suspected they were driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The officer must also inform the driver that they can contact their Minneapolis DWI attorney for guidance in what to do. It is possible for the breath test and any field tests to indicate a person’s probably intoxication.
Minnesota’s Implied Consent Laws
The implied consent law has been under attack with Supreme Court rulings stating that a warrant may need to be obtained before any breath, blood, or urine tests are conducted. Nonetheless, the implied consent law states that an officer who has probable cause can conduct these tests must notify the driver that he or she must comply or lose their driving privileges. The law states that it is implied that a person will comply with such requests when they acquire their driver’s license.
If an individual refuses to take the tests, the penalty is at least one year of license suspension. You can call your attorney if you have any questions about this testing. Your attorney will most likely advise you to move forward with it and then deal with the findings afterward. There are times when testing may not administered improperly, the arrest process is not carried out properly, or there is a rights violation involved. As it stands, the implied consent law is under fire and it can be challenged, resulting in much better outcomes in DWI cases than what defendants may have otherwise. There are many DWI defense strategies that can be used.