The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. A police officer who stops and detains a person momentarily to investigate suspected criminal activity has not been unreasonably seized if the officer can articulate specific and reasonable facts to warrant detention. Generally speaking, in Minnesota, an officer may constitutionally stop a motor vehicle if the officer reasonably suspects that the driver has violated Minnesota's traffic law.
In recent years, Minnesota's blood, breath, and urine testing regimen in DWI cases came under fire due to concerns about whether law enforcement officers should obtain a search warrant before obtaining a chemical test. The concern for many was that blood, breath, and urine testing involves a significant intrusion into a person's right to privacy and therefore a warrant should be obtained before a test request. The discomfort of urinating into a cup while someone watches over your shoulder or having a needle stuck into your arm cannot be understated. The issue was particularly problematic in states such as Minnesota, which criminally punishes individuals who refuse to submit to chemical testing in DWI cases.
Click here for an interesting article about a judge in Ohio who is requiring defendants to download ride-sharing apps as part of DWI/DUI sentences.
Click here for an interesting article on the impact a DWI arrest or conviction can have for individuals in the United States on nonimmigrant work visas.
The short answer is "it depends."
If you've been charged with a DWI/DUI, one of the things you may be thinking right away is this: How can I keep this off my criminal record?
If you are arrested for DWI/DUI, your license will be revoked. The length of the revocation depends upon factors such as your blood-alcohol concentration at the time of your arrest, whether you have prior impaired driving convictions or revocations, whether you had children under the age of 16 in the vehicle at the time of your arrest, and whether any injuries occurred as a result of your impaired-driving conduct.
In a previous blog post, I wrote about how the Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled that it is unconstitutional for the State to prosecute a person for refusing a warrantless blood or urine test in a routine DWI arrest. Since that blog post, there has been a flurry of court activity as it pertains to warrantless blood, breath, and urine testing during DWI arrests. This blog provides an update as to where things stand in the eyes of Minnesota's DWI law.
People often think they cannot get a DWI/DUI if their blood-alcohol concentration is below 0.08. This is simply not true. Drivers in Minnesota can be charged with and convicted of DWI/DUI if the prosecution can show of two things: a test result demonstrating a person's blood-alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more OR that a person is driving under the influence of alcohol.
A DUI/DWI can have serious collateral consequences. A common question, particularly for those living in Minnesota, is whether a DUI/DWI will prevent you from entering Canada. This blog post explores that question.