Whether or not you realize it, the simple act of driving your vehicle on Minnesota public roads provides consent to be subjected to a urine, breath, or blood test when suspected of driving while intoxicated in the state.
This is known as implied consent in Minnesota. And police have the right to draw your blood if that’s the way you get tested when suspected of a DWI. However, courts often view drawing blood differently than getting a urine sample or using a breathalyzer. Why? Probably because blood draws are more invasive than other testing methods and may be objected to by the person suspected of a DWI.
While law enforcement in Minnesota has the right to seek a blood test if they suspect you of a DWI, you still have rights. In fact, according to a ruling by the Supreme Court, police will need a warrant to draw your blood. This is part of why it’s so vital to understand your rights if suspected of a DWI in Minnesota, so read on to find out more.
Who Decides What Test Is Performed in Minnesota?
When you are suspected of a DWI, the arresting officer can decide what test to use. In most cases, they select the breath test because it’s the easiest to administer.
Who Would Collect Blood?
Part of the reason blood tests aren’t used as often as other tests to determine blood alcohol levels is because blood has to be drawn by a medical professional. So, the police would need to take you to a medical facility or hospital to have the blood draw performed.
Do They Need a Warrant To Take Blood in MN?
The police can choose the type of test they administer to you when taking a DWI, but if they want a blood test, they need to get a warrant in order to do one. This didn’t used to be the case. It changed after a Supreme Court ruling in 2019.
Under urgent circumstances, however, a blood test will not require a warrant. Not every DWI case is considered urgent, though, and typically there is enough time due to the way alcohol is metabolized in the blood for police to get the warrant necessary to draw blood legally.
Can You Challenge a Blood Test for a DWI?
If the police secure a warrant and administer a blood test to you, those results can be damning in court. However, there are ways to prevent the jury in a case from ever seeing these results. This is why it’s important to have an attorney on your side to help guide you through the case.
Your attorney may even be able to put the traffic stop itself into question. Police have to have reason to pull you over, and if there wasn’t sufficient reason to do so, the stop and any evidence gathered afterward could be considered illegal.
No matter how the police get your blood alcohol level in a DWI stop, it’s important to call an attorney as soon as possible in your case to help you defend your rights.
About the Author:
Christopher Keyser is an AV-Preeminent rated criminal and DWI defense attorney based in Minneapolis who is known for fighting aggressively for his clients and utilizing innovative tactics to get the most positive results. He has been featured in numerous media outlets due to the breadth and depth of his knowledge and has been named a Certified Specialist in Criminal Law by the Minnesota Bar Association. Mr. Keyers is Lead Counsel rated, and he has received recognition for his criminal law work from Avvo, Expertise, Super Lawyers, The National Trial Lawyers, and more.