Minnesota Supreme Court Leaves ‘Implied Consent’ Largely Unchanged

On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Minnesota’s “implied consent” law. This decision brings to a close a DWI case that had the potential to significant alter our state’s criminal justice code.

According to CBS Minnesota, The plaintiff in the case, State v. Brooks, alleged that he was coerced into taking an alcohol test after he was arrested on suspicion of DWI. His claim was that because Minnesota suspends your license for a year if you do not submit to a breath, urine or blood test, then any “consent” is coerced, rather than freely given.

The state countered that this did not amount to coercion and pointed to the longstanding legal construct of “implied consent.” This doctrine, which is followed in many other states besides Minnesota, essentially means that when people choose to use the public road system, they agree to submit to alcohol tests, even if they do not phrase such consent explicitly.

This concept has been criticized by people who say that it’s too “imaginative” an interpretation.

In its decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court said it did not agree with the argument that consent to an alcohol test was “coerced” simply because there was a criminal penalty attached to noncompliance.

As a Minneapolis DWI lawyer, I have dedicated a significant portion of my practice to helping Minnesotans who have been accused of DWI. If you think it would be helpful to talk to a Twin Cities-area criminal defense attorney, please know you can contact me at any time.

Categories: Criminal Defense, DWI