What should you do if you are stopped for drunk driving in Minnesota?
Be Polite: If you are stopped for a Minnesota DWI, 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: When you are initially pulled over by the police, you are being detained, but you are not technically under arrest for a Minnesota DWI. Miranda warnings do not yet apply. You are not, however, under any obligation to answer any questions pertaining to the consumption of alcohol. As a Minnesota DWI Attorney, I urge you to provide the officer with your driver's license and insurance information and politely refuse to answer any alcohol related questions.
Field Coordination Tests: Minnesota DWI law does not require you to submit to field coordination tests (eg. stand on one leg; recite the alphabet; stand on your head, etc.). The "tests" are entirely voluntary and the sole judge of your performance is usually the arresting officer. As a Minnesota DWI Lawyer it is my opinion that it is generally the better practice to decline these "tests" so that no evidence of your performance can be used against you in court. Tell the officer you will not submit to any coordination tests before speaking to a Minnesota DWI attorney.
Preliminary breath Test: Most Minnesota police carry in their squads a portable breath testing machine called the "Alco Sensor". The machine will show a "green" light if you have had anything to drink. It will show a "yellow" warning light if you are just under the legal limit and a "red" light if you are over the legal limit. The newer Alco Sensor models have a digital read-out of your alleged alcohol concentration level. The results of the portable breath test are not admissible against you in your criminal jury trial. You should submit to the portable breath test at the scene of the stop.