Minnesota police, highway, and patrol officers all use breathalyzer machines when they suspect someone of driving while drunk. They use them to determine blood alcohol content (BAC) by simply having the suspect blow into the machine. If they blow a BAC of .08 or more, then they will be arrested. This first test is called the “preliminary test” and it gives the officer the cause for the arrest. When taken to the station, there is a second test called the “evidentiary test.” A blood or urine test may also be conducted.
You are given the opportunity to speak to a Minnesota DUI lawyer before you submit to the evidentiary test.
But one question that many people have is whether or not the police have the right to administer a breathalyzer test whenever they feel like it? This is a topic that has made it as far as the Supreme Court.
However, Minnesota has what is called the “implied consent” law, which means that simply obtaining a driver’s license and driving a car gives the police permission to administer the test. They say that consent is “implied.” While the police do need probable cause to pull you over in the first place and administer the test, you are required to take the test when they ask you to. If you feel as if you are being tested without probable cause, that is something you may have to leave to the court. The reason is because there are strict penalties imposed on those who do not submit to testing. The best thing to do is simply say nothing because, while you have the right to ask questions and accuse the police of testing without probable cause, such questioning and arguments are not helpful at the scene.
With this said, you may still be wondering if you can refuse the breathalyzer test.
As stated before, refusing the test is a crime and that can carry penalties that are more severe than a DWI conviction. If you are over 21 years of age, a first time offender, and there are no aggravating factors present, you are facing a license suspension of 90 days. License suspension is a year when the crime is refusing a breathalyzer test.
It may not seem fair that refusing to take the test has a harsher penalty than the actual offense, but it does happen. That is why it is imperative to have the guidance of an experienced Minneapolis DWI attorney to help you through the entire process and to advise you as to what you should and should not do.
Been Caught Drunk-Driving?
Experienced Minnesota DWI defense lawyers at Meaney & Patrin can help you in this difficult time. No matter what degree of DWI or DUI you are charged with, a criminal defense attorney can develop a strategy for defense that will ultimately lead to the most favorable outcome possible for your individual case. Call us today at 612-223-6595.