Recently, the House introduced two bills that would drastically increase the use of ignition interlock[1] devices across Minnesota. HF 1112 aims to require ignition interlock for all DWI offenses; and, HF 2690 would do so for all repeat DWI offenders. The latter seems more realistic, while the former is overly optimistic. Currently, Minnesota only requires drivers…

Undoubtedly, the hottest topic of discussion in DWI law across Minnesota and much of the nation is Bernard v. Minnesota.[1] Consolidated with Birchfield v. North Dakota and Beyund v. Levi, the United States Supreme Court just set Bernard’s oral argument for April 20, 2016. SCOTUS squeezed Bernard in as one of Its last remaining cases…

In “all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right . . . to have the assistance of counsel.”[1] Any traffic stop can be unnerving for most people. When pulled over on the side of the road, you may sense your pulse increasing. What is going to happen? If you believe the cop is going…

Recently, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) renewed its push to lower the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in drunk driving cases to .05. Currently, the legal limit is .08 in all fifty states, but many countries across the globe use .05. Critics believe the push to .05 is backed by ignition interlock industry, which…

Warrant Not Required to Analyze a Legally Obtained Blood Sample Yesterday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals drew a line in the sand for determining when law enforcement needs to obtain a warrant in impaired-driving investigations. In State v. Fawcett, the court held “if the state lawfully obtains a blood sample for the purpose of chemical…

Short answer, which will lead to a somewhat brief explanation: maybe. The current state of Minnesota’s DWI Refusal law certainly makes the title of this blog an interesting question. Refusing a blood or urine test is a great idea, if the Minnesota Supreme Court upholds Trahan and Thompson. Refusing a breath test may be an equally…

What happens to DWI cases in Minnesota while we await SCOTUS’s decision in Bernard?[1] Will judges be willing to stay all DWI cases until SCOTUS issues an opinion? Or, stay just DWI Refusal cases since that is what Bernard entails? Will judges force defense counsel to litigate the issue and force the losing party to…

Minnesota’s DWI Refusal law took another hit on Monday. The court of appeals determined it is unconstitutional to charge someone with refusing to submit to a urine test in a DWI case in State v. Thompson. The decision came on the heels of the court of appeals’ opinion in State v. Trahan,[1] which ruled charging…

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