The Implied Consent Law, Minn. Stat. Sec. 169A.50-.53, states that an individual who drives, is in physical control of or operates a motor vehicle on the roads, land or waterways of Minnesota while impaired with alcohol must take a breath, blood or urine test to determine whether the driver is under the influence of alcohol or any other controlled substance. The test of choice must be administered by a law enforcement officer.
It is important, however, for you to dig deeper into the meaning of “implied consent.” You supposedly gave your consent when you obtained your driver’s license. You implied that you consent to an evidentiary test that a law enforcement officer requests of you if there is probable cause to suspect you of driving while intoxicated. If you refuse the test at the station when the law enforcement officer requests it, then you are retracting that consent.
This results in a driver’s license revocation because giving your consent is one of the reasons why you have a license in the state of Minnesota. In addition, Minnesota is one of the few states that also make test refusal a crime. If you refuse the alcohol test at the station, not only do you lose your driver’s license for test refusal for at least one year, but you are also charged with a gross misdemeanor test refusal crime and the crime of DWI itself.
Your Rights Under Minnesota Law
If are pulled over in Minnesota, you do have rights. If an officer wishes to search your car, you do not have to give your consent; you are only required to show your license and insurance card when you have been pulled over. Even if the officer asks you if you have been drinking, you do not have to give any information other than your driver’s license and your insurance card. You may politely say, “I would like to speak to my attorney before I answer any questions.” Then you are able to speak to your attorney before any tests are administered or other action is taken. Make sure you keep the number of your Minnesota DWI lawyer handy just in case.
When it comes to field sobriety tests on the roadside, including a preliminary breath test (PBT), you are not legally obligated to take these tests. You can politely turn the officer down. However, the officer may still arrest you on suspicion of DWI and have a blood, breath or urine test administered if you consent. It is the refusal of a blood, breath or urine test at the police station, jail or hospital that is actually illegal. If you submit to field sobriety tests and you are not intoxicated, then you will go home much more quickly.
It also does not matter if you are not read your rights during the arrest. You should know, however, that anything you say after your arrest couldn’t be used against you in a court of law if your Miranda Rights are not read to you.
Implied Consent Defense
Before you do anything, make sure you consult with your implied consent attorney before you say anything or do anything. It is your right to speak with an attorney first so that you can be advised on your rights, consequences and the next steps of your case.
Arrested? We’re Available 24/7
Only a professional and highly skilled DWI defense lawyer can make sure your case is properly addressed and handled efficiently. Our DWI attorneys will thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest and the arresting officer, interview any important eyewitnesses, handle all court appearances and documents, and guide you through the criminal justice system to your freedom and peace of mind. If you have questions regarding your DWI charges, potential penalties and risks or strategies for defending your rights, call our law office at (952) 522-5026 or use our online contact form. You have rights – we protect them.
Our Minneapolis DWI defense lawyer represents clients charged in criminal matters throughout the Twin Cities metro area and throughout the entire state of Minnesota, including Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Scott County, Dakota County, Washington County and Sherburne County. We also represent clients throughout Anoka, Andover, Apple Valley, Blaine, Bloomington, Burnsville, Champlin, Chaska, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Edina, Eden Prairie, Lino Lakes, Lakeville, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Minnetonka, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Richfield, Robbinsdale, Roseville, Woodbury and White Bear Lake.