If a Minnesota resident is stopped by the police and suspected of being impaired, he or she may be asked to perform field sobriety tests. The tests are generally designed to give an officer an idea as to a driver's attention span and physical abilities. An officer may record the results of the tests and use them as evidence in a drunk driving case.
The best way to avoid a DWI in Minnesota is to never drink alcohol. Of course, this won't guarantee that you are never stopped by the police and charged with a DWI. Other factors could create the impression with a law enforcement officer that you are intoxicated or impaired, including fatigue or the use of over-the-counter or prescription medication, or other drugs.
When you are pulled over by the police and they believe that you have been driving while intoxicated, they will go through a number of steps to determine your inebriation. There's your standard field sobriety test, which involves an officer asking you to do a number of tasks. There is a breath test, which can be done by Breathalyzer. A blood or urine test may be required later.
A few weeks ago, we talked about the implied consent law here in Minnesota. Basically what this law means is that if you are legally arrested for driving under the influence, you must give a blood, breath or urine test. You do not have a right to refuse this. We bring this up because with the Labor Day weekend upon us, there will be plenty of people who are dealing with law enforcement over the weekend, and they need to know their rights.
Imagine someone being pulled over by a police officer late at night after a long work shift. If the cop believes, for whatever reason, that this person has been consuming alcohol, field sobriety tests could be administered. These roadside exams are designed to measure coordination and balance, both of which are affected by intoxication. However, the reality is that a person who is exhausted after a long work shift could fail the tests without having consumed a drop of alcohol.
At times, it may seem as though a different public figure is facing legal challenges on a daily basis. Because of this, it may be easy to overlook some of the important issues involved in their cases. This may be the case for former professional football player Bernie Kosar, who was recently charged for driving while intoxicated.