If a Minnesota police officer has reason to believe that you are driving while under the influence of alcohol, the officer may conduct a traffic stop. An officer may suspect that you are under the influence of alcohol because you couldn’t maintain your lane or were driving well above or below the speed limit.
The smell of alcohol may also indicate that you’re impaired
The smell of alcohol coming from your breath or from the inside of your car may be further evidence that you are too drunk to drive. It may be used as a basis to search your vehicle or ask that you submit to field sobriety tests. You may also be asked to submit to a blood or Breathalyzer test that can help to determine how much alcohol is in your system.
Field sobriety tests seek to ascertain your level of balance and muscle control
An officer will likely ask you to follow the path of a pen or a bright light with your eyes. This person will be looking to see evidence of an involuntarily movement known as a horizontal gaze nystagmus. If such evidence exists, you will likely be asked to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line. Generally speaking, performing poorly on one or all of these tests could result in you being taken into custody.
If you are convicted of DUI, it may be possible to spend time in jail, pay a fine or lose your drivers license. There is also a chance that you will be placed on probation or asked to perform community service. An attorney may be able to help you avoid these and other penalties by casting doubt on the results of a Breathalyzer test or by arguing that evidence was collected in an illegal manner.