Alcohol testing under Minnesota’s implied consent law has seen a number of challenges in recent years. This blog has reported the issues challenging the Intoxilyzer machines that are currently under review in the Minnesota Supreme Court. Last year, this blog discussed the issue of whether police can request a urine sample without a warrant under the implied consent laws and use the test results in the criminal case involving driving while impaired charges.
Last month, a Mankato news anchor was arrested on suspicion of DWI in Minnesota. The woman has now been formally charged after the test results of a urine test were returned. Prosecutors claim that the urine test revealed the news anchor had an alcohol reading of 0.31 percent.
Whether that urine sample fairly reflects the level of alcohol in the woman’s system may be an area of dispute for experts. However, due to the high alcohol level in the sample, prosecutors are seeking a gross misdemeanor level DWI charge, among the three separate counts filed against the woman.
Minnesota law allows prosecutors to seek a gross misdemeanor charge based upon allegations that a breath, blood or urine test taken within two hours of driving shows a result of 0.20 percent or more on a first-time DWI arrest. In addition to the enhanced charge, a person faces more strict consequences under Minnesota’s implied consent laws for elevated alcohol levels.
This blog discussed last summer the change in Minnesota law, making a 0.16 percent BAC reading a friction point under the implied consent law. The 0.16 percent reading may expose a driver to a lengthier implied consent loss of license, and may also lead to the need for a person to install an ignition interlock device on his or her car.
It is important to speak with an experienced DWI and implied consent attorney as soon as possible after a DWI arrest. Minnesota law allows prosecutors to delay a criminal complaint after an arrest and the criminal case may not be placed on the court calendar for some time after the charges are filed.
Meanwhile, a driver has a limited amount of time to challenge the implied consent license revocation, and that timeline may run out before a person first appears for arraignment in the DWI case.
Source: KARE 11, “Mankato news anchor charged with DWI,” Jan. 31, 2012