Oftentimes, people will casually socialize by going out for a drink with friends or ordering a cocktail with dinner. In these situations, people do the responsible thing by limiting their alcohol intake in order to drive home safely. However, a recent study suggests that what people order may have more of an impact on their level of intoxication than they think.
As we have covered before on this blog, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that police must obtain a warrant before they draw a person's blood to measure alcohol content in most situations. The ruling, Missouri v. McNeely, also said that concerns about alcohol dissipating over time is not an "exigent circumstance" that would allow for a warrantless blood draw.
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.