Avoiding trouble is a natural inclination, especially when the trouble comes from law enforcement. When drivers are pulled over by police, they may refuse to answer questions or allow a search of their vehicles, which is within their rights. However, in Minnesota, a DWI test refusal is a violation of the law and can lead to serious charges. One local man may have learned this the hard way.
Police say they began following the 53-year-old after they say they observed him drive through a stop sign just before 1:30 in the morning. Officers instigated a stop after the driver apparently crossed into the opposite lane. Police reports indicate the officers observed the following, along with the man’s erratic driving, which led to their arrest of the driver for DWI:
- Slurred speech
- Heavy eyelids
- Slow movements
- The odor of alcohol coming from him
Nevertheless, the man reportedly refused to submit to a breath test to determine his blood alcohol content. In Minnesota, anyone who drives a motor vehicle in the state is automatically assumed to have consented to a breath test regarding suspicions of drunk driving. It is a condition for obtaining a license to drive. Because of his apparent refusal, the man now faces charges of third-degree test refusal in addition to fourth-degree DWI. A conviction for even these misdemeanor charges may result in jail time, thousands in fines, the loss of driving privileges and other penalties that can disrupt one’s life and create significant hardships.