When someone is arrested for driving under the influence, the police will administer breath and blood tests to the individual to ensure they get an appropriate reading of their blood alcohol content. Refusing to take a breath test can lead to serious consequences. In Minnesota, implied consent means you have to take a breath test at some point -- though you do have the right to refuse a preliminary breath test.
Some people may think that if you are pulled over by the police under the suspicion of driving while intoxicated, you have the right to refuse a breath test. This changes from state to state, but in Minnesota, you actually can't refuse a breath test. It's called "implied consent," which means that if you are lawfully arrested by a police officer for operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other substances, you are legally obligated to perform a breath, blood or urine test.
During the summer months, many Minnesotans head out to campgrounds to enjoy the great outdoors and the nice weather. Recently, a Pelican Rapids woman has found herself facing accusations of DWI and other criminal conduct in relation to an alleged incident at a campground.
Police in Northern Minnesota claim that a man pretended that he cannot speak English during an investigation into a possible driving while impaired offense. The arresting officer claims that the 34-year-old North Dakota resident said “No habla,” when the officer asked the driver his name. The Moorhead police officer, however, apparently speaks Spanish and switched over to that language to identify the driver. Police say that the driver later admitted that he can speak English.
In November, Jerome Simpson, wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. As we covered in an earlier blog post, the athlete's vehicle stalled on the highway and the police officer who arrived on the scene believed that he was driving while intoxicated. After submitting to a preliminary breath test, Simpson later refused a breath test at the Hennepin County jail.
In Minnesota, by obtaining a driver's license, motorists agree to comply with police orders to take a breath test if they are pulled over when they obtain a driver's license. Known as implied consent, this state law provides that a person can face criminal charges for simply refusing to take a roadside breath test for alcohol intoxication, even if they are actually sober.
In drunk driving cases, criminal prosecutors can turn to a number of sources for evidence. In addition to field sobriety tests or breath tests conducted at the scene of an arrest, authorities might rely on blood tests, which are often viewed as a definitive measure of intoxication or sobriety. As a case in another state demonstrates, this sentiment might not always be the case.