What are the consequences for refusing a DWI test?

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2023 | DWI |

There are multiple possible answers to the question that is posed in the title of this post. If a Minnesota police officer pulls you over in a traffic stop and suspects you of drunk driving, he or she might ask you to take a preliminary alcohol breath screening test or a field sobriety test. Depending on your exact circumstances, refusing to take a DWI test may or may not affect the ultimate outcome of the situation.  

If there are no extenuating issues, such as you causing a collision that resulted in another person’s injury or death, you are not obligated to comply with a police officer’s request to take a DWI test during a traffic stop. The officer cannot force you to take the test if you do not want to take it. However, if there are extenuating issues, such as those described earlier in this section, a police officer can administer a test in spite of your refusal.  

If you refuse to take a DWI test in Minnesota, it is reported 

The police officer who asks you to take a DWI test must report your refusal to comply to several entities. The county commissioner will receive word that you were asked and refused to take a preliminary alcohol screening test. The prosecuting authority in the district will also be notified.  

If you refuse to take a DWI test and the officer in charge determines probable cause to charge you with drunk driving, the county commissioner can revoke your driver’s license. This is true, even if you are taken into police custody and later submit to a chemical Breathalyzer test.  

Statutes vary according to circumstance 

The statutes governing motor vehicle operators who are suspected of impairment are different for various categories of people. For instance, the alcohol content level for legal operation of a vehicle is lower for commercial truck drivers than for motorists in non-commercial vehicles. If you were caught driving without a license and are arrested for DWI, you may be prohibited from obtaining a driver’s license. 

Refuting DWI charges in a Minnesota court 

It is important to understand how refusing to take a DWI test can affect the outcome of your case if you wind up facing drunk driving charges in court. The criminal defense options available to you may vary, depending on various factors, such as your age, whether you were working for an employer when your arrest occurred, whether you were involved in a collision and more.  

Before heading to court, it is always helpful to meet with an advocate who understands the criminal justice system and can recommend a best course of action in light of your specific circumstances.  



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