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Is Minnesota's DWI Test-Refusal Law Constitutional?

On Friday, December 11, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review Minnesota’s implied consent law, which makes refusing a warrantless breath test a punishable offense for suspected drunk drivers. This is big news for those who have long felt that this law is in direct violation of Constitution, which protects U.S. citizens from unwarranted search and seizure.

The court did not give the reason why it will hear the case, but oral arguments will soon be heard in the case of State v. Bernard. The plaintiff’s attorney, Jeff Sheridan, has argued since 2002 that Minnesota’s implied consent law is unconstitutional, saying that DWI should not be treated any differently than other types of crimes which require warrants before a person can be searched or tested. The debate centers around the idea that individuals are forced to give up their constitutional protections without due process of the law.

While all states impose a license restriction for failure to submit to a test, Minnesota is one of only 12 states that actually makes it a crime. Furthermore, Minnesota is also unique in that even if a person is acquitted of a DWI charge, they can still be convicted for refusing a test. Punishment can be handed out before a person even sees a judge.

Read more about State v. Bernard here.

Experienced DWI Counsel in Minneapolis

Minnesota DWI law is complex, and it is important that people are aware of how their actions will effect them legally. If you have been arrested for refusing a DWI test, these is no time to waste in contacting Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. An attorney at our firm can ensure that your rights are protected while we fight to safeguard your freedom and driving privileges.

For more information on how we can help, please request a free case review with our firm by calling (612) 444-5020. We are standing by 24/7 to answer your call!


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