Giancola-Durkin, P.A.

Minnesota Supreme Court sets new DWI rule

Many things have big impacts on individuals who are under suspicion of drunk driving. This includes what specifically police are (and are not) required to do in DWI investigations. What the rules are on this front here in Minnesota are affected by a range of things. This includes what the state’s supreme court decides when questions arise on what specific rights individuals have when they are being investigated for drunk driving.

This week, this court made such a decision. This ruling adds something to the list of things police are not required to do in DWI investigations.

The case involves a woman who was the driver in a single-vehicle crash. Police suspected her of drunk driving, and got a warrant for a blood test. She was presented with a copy of the warrant at the hospital, and her blood was then drawn. She was not given the opportunity to talk with a lawyer before the blood draw.

The woman argued that the results of this blood test should be tossed out because she didn’t get a chance to consult with an attorney prior to the test.

On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court decided against the woman’s argument. In a 4-3 decision, it ruled that, when police are pursuing a blood test with a warrant, a DWI suspect doesn’t have the right to consult an attorney prior to deciding whether submit to the test.

This decision means that, here in Minnesota, police are not required to give people the chance to talk to a lawyer prior to a warrant-supported DWI blood test. Police can give suspects this opportunity, but it is completely their discretion.

One wonders what impacts this decision will have here in Minnesota moving forward. What are your thoughts on this ruling?

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