Man charged with DWI test-refusal in Inver Grove Heights

An employee of an Inver Grove Heights gentleman’s club reportedly offered to call a cab for a patron. Apparently, according to the employee, the patron declined the cab ride home and later left the establishment. The 51-year-old Florida resident is now facing serious Minnesota DWI charges.

Law enforcement claims that the man tried to leave the parking lot, but may have noticed that the employee was watching him. He reportedly returned the car to the parking space in the lot. A short-time later, police arrived.

Law enforcement says during the encounter with the man they requested that he perform some field sobriety tests. They claim he did not perform the first test properly, and then refused to perform the one-legged stand. Authorities also claim the man refused to perform a roadside breath test, or preliminary breath test, that is essentially used like a field sobriety test.

Police apparently then arrested the man on suspicion of DWI. While in custody, police claim the man accused of DWI refused to submit to an evidentiary alcohol test under the implied consent law. Authorities charged the man with DWI test-refusal, a serious charge under Minnesota law. Police reportedly do admit that the man exercised his right to remain silent while in custody and asked to have a criminal defense attorney present for any questioning.

Each state has its own implied consent and driving while impaired laws. Generally, implied consent laws authorize law enforcement to request that a person submit a breath, blood or alcohol sample when the officer has probable cause to believe a person has been driving while impaired. In Minnesota, a DWI test-refusal is treated as a crime itself. That is, police and prosecutors can charge a person who refuses the implied consent test with a crime for the test-refusal.

Generally, a DWI test-refusal charge is an enhanced offense. For instance, a first-time DWI offender may face a misdemeanor, or fourth-degree DWI charge, if the breath, blood or urine sample returns a result of 0.08 percent to 0.20 percent. A test-refusal charge for a first-time offender starts out as a gross misdemeanor, which can carry more potential exposure to jail time, higher potential fines and stricter consequences related to the defendant’s driving privileges.

Source: Inver Grove Heights Patch, “King of Diamonds Customer Arrested after Test Refusal,” Keighla Schmidt, Jan. 19, 2012

He has won jury trial cases in misdemeanor and felony cases and in DWI’s and non-DWI’s. He is a member of the Minnesota Society for Criminal Justice, which only allows the top 50 criminal defense attorneys in the state as members. He is a frequent speaker at CLE’s and is often asked for advice by other defense attorneys across Minnesota.

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