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What should you do if you are arrested for drunk driving in Minnesota?

Be Polite: If you have been arrested for DWI in Minnesota, you will only exacerbate your situation by being physically or verbally abusive. If you are subjected to any verbal or physical mistreatment, make a note of it; but do not engage in it. When you know your rights, you can be assertive without being obnoxious.

Keep your mouth shut: If you have been arrested for DWI in Minnesota, you have the right to remain silent and you should exercise it! It is very rarely advisable to discuss your case with the police. Give the police basic biographical information, such as your name, date of birth, address, etc. But if the police ask you anything relating to your arrest (eg. Were you driving a car? Have you been drinking? How much have you had to drink? etc.), tell them, “Before I answer any of your questions I first want to speak to a Minnesota DWI attorney.” The police should then leave you alone. If the police persist in attempting to speak with you, be equally adamant in your demand to speak to counsel. You should always consult with a Minnesota DWI attorney before making any statements to the police and you should follow the Minnesota DWI attorney’s advice.

Exercise your right to counsel before making your decision on chemical testing: In Friedman v. Commissioner of Public Safety, the Minnesota Supreme Court held that when a person has been arrested for DWI, the individual has the right to contact and consult with counsel prior to deciding whether or not they will submit to any chemical testing designed to measure one’s blood alcohol concentration. This Minnesota State Right to Counsel exists in addition to the right to counsel provided by Miranda v. Arizona.

The right to counsel is extremely important. An experienced Minnesota DWI lawyer will tell you the ramifications of your testing decision and will tell you how to challenge any test obtained by the State. You have the right to arrange for an additional test, to be administered by a person of your own choosing, and an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney will inform you how to arrange for your independent test while you are still at the police station!

Chemical Testing: In Minnesota, the police have the right to ask a person arrested for DWI to submit to chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol concentration after you have been arrested for drunk driving. The refusal to submit to testing is a crime, carrying the same criminal penalties as a gross misdemeanor drunk driving offense. Refusal also carries a longer license revocation penalty. As a Minnesota DWI attorney it is my opinion that it is never advisable to refuse to submit to chemical testing at the police station or hospital.

The three types of chemical testing used in Minnesota are: breath; blood; or urine. The police have the right to choose which of these three tests are initially offered to the individual under arrest.

If the police offer you a breath test, you must submit to this test unless you are physically unable to provide the required breath samples (You must be able to demonstrate physical disability rendering you unable to provide the sample; being too drunk to blow is not a defense). Minnesota uses the Intoxilyzer 5000 machine which requires you to provide two separate adequate breath samples to give a valid breath test.

If the police initially offer you a urine test, they may not treat the failure to provide a urine sample as a refusal unless they also offer you a blood test. If the police initially offer you a blood test, they may not treat the failure to provide a blood sample as a refusal unless they also offer you a urine test. When it comes to blood or urine testing, you have the right to choose between the two tests. You do not have the right to choose when breath testing is requested by the police.

Contact Minnesota DUI Attorney F. T. Sessoms:

For answers to all of your Minnesota DWI and DUI questions, please call Minnesota DUI Attorney F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 today!