Reporting Pat Kessler
ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Supreme Court upheld the state’s DWI implied consent law, which makes it a crime for impaired drivers to refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test.
On Wednesday, the Court ruled in the case, State v. Brooks, which revolves around three DWI cases involving 40-year-old Wesley Eugene Brooks of Prior Lake. He consented to tests in all three arrests, but later argued he was coerced.
However, the Court said, “A driver’s decision to agree to take a test is not coerced simply because Minnesota has attached a penalty of making it a crime to refuse the test.”
Simply put, it’s not a crime for police officers to have a suspected drunk driver take a blood test.
Most drunk driving arrests occur after a breathalyzer test in Minnesota. Officials said it’s about 80 percent.
Now, one prominent Minnesota DWI attorney says the High Court has raised questions about whether police must get a search warrant first.
Roseville, Minn. attorney Charles Ramsay predicts DWI offenders will now demand to see a warrant before they consent to a test:
“Which means that every case must be analyzed on a case-by-case basis. It’s going to clog the courts. More people who have been arrested for DWI are going to fight because of this,” Ramsay said.