What is Minnesota's "Implied Consent" lawAnd What Three Types of Chemical Tests are Used in Minnesota DWI Cases?
Minnesota's implied consent law presumes that any person who drives, operates, or is in physical control of any type of motor vehicle anywhere in the state consents to a chemical test of breath, blood, or urine for the purpose of determining alcohol concentration and/or the presence of controlled or hazardous substances in the person's body. The testing is administered at the direction of a law enforcement officer when there is probable cause to believe that the person has committed a DWI violation and the person:
- has been lawfully arrested for a DWI violation;
- has been involved in a motor vehicle crash;
- has refused to take a DWI screening test (Preliminary Breath Test or PBT); or
- has taken the screening test and it indicates an alcohol concentration of .08 or more.
To establish probable cause, the officer usually proceeds as follows:
- observes some type of illegal driving behavior and forms a reasonable suspicion of an impaired driving violation;
- stops and questions the driver;
- administers a battery of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs); and
- administers a DWI screening test (PBT).
If, based on these observations, the officer has probable cause to believe that a DWI crime has been committed, the officer may arrest the person and demand an evidentiary test of the person's blood, breath or urine.
Implied Consent Advisory:
Before administering the evidentiary test, the officer must read the implied consent advisory to the person explaining:
- Minnesota law requires the person to take a test to determine if he/she is under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs;
- Refusal to test is a crime;
- Before making the decision about testing, the person has the right to consult with an attorney but this right is limited in duration in that it cannot unreasonably delay testing; and
- If the test is unreasonably delayed, or if the person refuses to make a decision regarding testing, the person will be deemed to have refused testing.
If the test is requested to a conscious subject without the advisory first being given, the person may be criminally charged and prosecuted, but not for a violation of the implied consent law (and related administrative sanctions).
If the person is unconscious or otherwise incapable of withdrawing consent, consent is deemed given and the evidentiary chemical test may be administered under the implied consent law.
The Three Types of Chemical Tests:
The type of evidentiary test requested (blood, breath, or urine) is as the discretion of the officer. A person who refuses either a blood or urine test must be offered an alternative test. All drivers are presumed to be capable of providing a breath test. Evidentiary breath tests are conducted on either the DataMaster DMT-G or the DataMaster Intoxilyzer 5000, Series 68EN infrared machine. The results are provided on a printout a short time after the test is administered. Blood and urine tests are analyzed by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), with results available within about ten days to six weeks. Test results can be certified to the Department of Public Safety either by the officer or by the BCA.
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