January 9, 2015

Field sobriety tests could impact you this weekend

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A few weeks ago, we talked about the implied consent law here in Minnesota. Basically what this law means is that if you are legally arrested for driving under the influence, you must give a blood, breath or urine test. You do not have a right to refuse this. We bring this up because with the Labor Day weekend upon us, there will be plenty of people who are dealing with law enforcement over the weekend, and they need to know their rights.

Since Aug. 13, the police have been performing a massive crack down of drunk driving. You have probably seen ads or announcements for the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" campaign during this time, and even leading up to this period of enforcement.

But this weekend, things will get serious as the Labor Day weekend is considered one of the most dangerous driving weekends of the year. Many people are traveling for vacation, and many people are enjoying a few drinks during this time. You shouldn't combine those two activities, but if you do, you still have rights.

Beyond the implied consent law, remember that you may be asked to perform a field sobriety test, may it be at a checkpoint or after a traffic stop. These field sobriety tests have come under scrutiny recently, as they involve the suspected person performing tasks that no person would ever perform, whether they are sober or not. Therefore, they are unlikely to fulfill or complete these tasks simply because they are foreign to them -- not necessarily because they are intoxicated.

Source: TSM, "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, Drunk Driving National Enforcement Crackdown, August 13 - September 1, 2014," Accessed Aug. 29, 2014


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The acronyms DUI, DWI, OMVI and OVI all refer to the same thing: operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The most commonly used terms are DUI, an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, and DWI, an acronym for Driving While Impaired.
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