February 16, 2015

Implied consent law has new wrinkle thanks to Supreme Court

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We've talked about implied consent on this blog before, and what it means for all drivers in the state of Minnesota if they are accused of driving under the influence. However, a recent ruling by the Supreme Court changes the way the rule is interpreted, and it has a profound affect on people who were looking to challenge a certain aspect to the rule.

Remember that implied consent originally meant that any driver thought to be intoxicated by the police inherently consented to having a blood test done. The consent is agreed to as part of the individual obtaining a license.

However, the rule was challenged as it seemed like the police should have to obtain a warrant before going through with such a blood test -- even under implied consent. The police countered by saying that in the time it would take to obtain a warrant for a drunk driver, the individual's alcohol levels would dramatically shift.

The Supreme Court agreed with the people, saying that the police need to obtain a warrant before they are allowed to proceed with a blood test.

So where does that leave people who were arrested and forced to take a blood test prior to this ruling being made? Well, unfortunately, it looks like they are out of luck. The ruling applies now and will not have any retroactive action.

This is a significant and important change to DWI law in Minnesota, and drivers now need to be aware of this if they are accused of drunk driving.

Source: MPR, "MN court rules DUI blood testing proper in past cases," Bob Collins, Jan. 12, 2015

Tags: Blood Alcohol Tests


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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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