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Hopkins man arrested at home is charged with DWI test refusal

Prosecutors in Hopkins are pursuing a slate of charges against a man after allegations that a man left a Hopkins establishment and drove while impaired Sunday evening.

The man reportedly has been charged with DWI test refusal, which is a gross misdemeanor for a first-time offender under Minnesota’s DWI and implied consent laws. The man is charged with a second gross misdemeanor, alleging that he obstructed the legal process with force during his encounter with police. He also faces a misdemeanor fourth-degree DWI charge in the case.

Hopkins police claim an employee from the tavern called police to report that the man left the establishment after an employee tried to take the patron’s car keys. Police claim that they tracked the man through a credit card receipt found at the establishment. Law enforcement claims that they received two reports from citizens in Hopkins claiming that a Dodge pickup truck either nearly hit the people, or swerved toward them in Hopkins.

Police apparently did not see the man driving the vehicle, but found a pickup truck parked outside the man’s home sometime Sunday evening. Police found the man inside his home and apparently subjected him to a preliminary breath test. That test is not reliable and in an adult, the case cannot be used as evidence at trial.

Nonetheless, police arrested the man and claim that the man was not cooperative. Officers claim that they threatened to use a Taser during the arrest, but instead took him to the ground and handcuffed him. Officers assert that the man threatened and kicked at the officers.

Authorities say that they chose to use a urine test under Minnesota’s implied consent law to seek evidence of impairment. Police say the man agreed but became agitated when released from his leg restraint. Police admit that the man asked for some water. Authorities, however, claim that the man refused to drink the water and yelled at the officers. The state now claims that the man refused to submit an implied consent chemical test.

Test refusal cases in Minnesota are treated harshly. A first-time offender can expect to face a third-degree DWI, or a gross misdemeanor, for test refusal. A gross misdemeanor carries mandatory jail time in DWI cases and a maximum sentence of up to a year in jail. The implied consent license revocation is also harsher in third-degree DWI cases.

Source: Hopkins Patch, “Police: Drunken Driver Nearly Hits Pedestrians, Fights With Officers,” James Warden, Mar. 7, 2012

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