In the state of Minnesota, there are certain situations where you may be required to take a blood alcohol test. If you refuse, you can be charged with a crime and face serious penalties. It’s important to understand your rights when it comes to blood alcohol testing, including your right to speak with a lawyer prior to submitting to a test.
Understanding Blood Alcohol Testing
According to Minnesota law, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol. If you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence or while intoxicated, law enforcement often has the right to administer a blood alcohol test. This test is often used to determine whether you will be charged with a DUI, DWI, or nothing at all.
There are three different methods an officer may use to test your alcohol content: blood, urine, or breath. Since Minnesota operates under the “implied consent” principle, there may be times when you must submit to one of these tests. Failure to do so can result in criminal charges, including arrest, jail time, and a fine.
The most common circumstances in which a blood alcohol test is required are:
- When you have been arrested for a DWI;
- When you cause an accident in which there is property damage, serious injury, or death; or
- When a police officer has reasonable suspicion that you have been driving under the influence of alcohol.
The law doesn’t clearly specify what “reasonable suspicion” must entail, which can lead to a gray area in certain cases. However, the legal system typically sides with police officers, so it is often in your best interest to submit to the blood alcohol test. If you are uncertain whether or not you should submit to testing, there may be other legal options besides a charge, jail time and fines.
Blood Alcohol Testing Defense Lawyer
Just because you have to submit to a blood alcohol test doesn’t mean you don’t still have rights. In fact, Minnesota law allows you to contact a lawyer before the test is administered. Once a law enforcement official tells you of the requirement to take a blood alcohol test, it is highly advisable to contact a lawyer immediately. In fact, a police officer is even supposed to give you this option.
The law doesn’t give you any time to waste, and any conversation with a lawyer must be kept to a reasonable length. In most cases, the test has to be conducted within two hours of the suspected violation. Your lawyer can advise you of your rights, and recommend the best course of action for you. In some cases, you may not have to take the test, but only a qualified attorney can make this judgment.
Contact Us for a Free Consultation
If you have questions about blood alcohol testing in Minnesota, we’re here to help. Whether you need to discuss your rights, or fight against a refusal charge, we’re on your side. At the Brown Law Offices, P.A., we have helped many clients with cases related to blood alcohol testing. Call us today at 763-323-6555, or complete our online form for a free consultation.