If you have recently been charged with DWI, and have either provided or refused a urine or blood test, you have an opportunity to have the matter dismissed, due to the recent Minnesota Court of Appeals decision, October 13, 2015, State v. Trahan.
The Court declared that charging a driver with a crime for refusing a warrantless blood test violates the individual’s right to due process, under the United States and Minnesota Constitutions.
This decision is significant as it is the first time that a Minnesota court has recognized that driver’s suspected of driving while intoxicated still have due process rights, and that it is wrong to require a driver, under the threat of being charged with a crime, to submit to a warrantless search.
Although this case specifically involves a blood test, we believe courts will extend the same rights to urine tests. However, the law regarding breath tests is still ruled by the Minnesota Supreme Court’s dismal decision in State v. Bernard, saying that a breath test can be requested, as incident to an arrest.
We have a constitutionally protected right of privacy limiting police control over our bodies. Minnesota’s courts are finally recognizing this right.
Elizabeth M. Levine, Attorney at Law