In March, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reached a decision that may have a significant impact on our state’s treatment of suspected drunk drivers.
The court had considered a case brought by a 31-year-old South St. Paul man who was arrested after witnesses reported he seemed to be drunk has he was removing a boat from a dock at the Mississippi River. By the time police got there, he was not in the truck and denied being the driver. Officers wanted to give him a blood-alcohol content test anyway, and he refused. A warrant was never obtained, but the man was charged with refusal to submit to a test all the same.
A trial court sided with the defendant, but the Court of Appeals reversed and found that a suspected drunk driver could be charged with this offense if an arresting officer believes that there is enough evidence to obtain a warrant — even if no warrant is obtained.
If this seems like an unusual result to you, you are not alone. This is a hotly contested area of law in our state, with prosecutors, defense attorneys and legal experts all having different opinions. The defendant has indicated that he may appeal; if he does and if there are noteworthy developments or results, we’ll make to consider a post for this blog.
As a Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, I assist clients who have been charged with drunk driving. If you ever feel like it would be good for to you speak with an attorney, we’d be honored to be among the law firms you consider. You are welcome to contact us at any time.