A Minnesota State Patrol Trooper accuses two people of driving while impaired-each of the accused was in the same car, during the same alleged pursuit. The trooper claims that while patrolling Interstate 35 near Duluth late last month, a car passed the patrol car traveling 92 miles per hour.
He claims that he pursued the car, and at some point, the trooper claims that the man driving the vehicle and a female passenger switched seats. It is unclear in the media has fast the car was traveling when the couple allegedly switched seats. The alleged switcheroo serves as part of the basis for why DWI charges have been filed against each of the people in the car during the alleged pursuit.
The trooper says that when he pulled over the car, a 21-year-old woman was sitting in the driver’s seat. Authorities assert that the man denied ever being behind the wheel of the vehicle that night. Yet, he is facing DWI charges related to the incident. KAAL TV reports that, in addition to DWI charges based upon some alleged evidence of impairment, the 28-year-old man found in the passenger seat is also facing a charge for DWI test refusal.
Generally, Minnesota’s implied consent and DWI laws treat test refusal as a crime in and of itself. However, prosecutors must still prove that a person was driving or in physical control of a vehicle and that there was a sufficient basis for the officer to request an implied consent chemical test, among other factors, to support a DWI test refusal charge.
Authorities claim that the woman found behind the wheel was impaired and she has been charged with DWI.
Source: KAAL-TV, “Complaint: 2 Charged With DWI After Switching Seats During Pursuit,” Lauren Radomski, April 19, 2012