When a person is arrested for driving while impaired in Minnesota, it is imperative to know how to formulate a viable defense. People may be under certain misconceptions about a DWI and their rights. There might be a belief that a driver has the right to refuse to take part in testing procedures. This is a mistake and can enhance the charges with a refusal to cooperate. Understanding implied consent is fundamental of a case and can help with addressing the charges.
Drivers must submit to tests at the officer’s request
When a person is driving in the state and a DWI investigation is taking place, there is an automatic consent that he or she will give a breath test, a blood test or a urine test to determine what substances are in the body. For a blood or urine test, the officer must get a warrant. That is not true for a breath test. Still, with any traffic stop and an officer asking for a test, there must be probable cause.
If the vehicle was swerving on the road or moving at too slow a speed, that would be sufficient. It does not need to be a “telltale” behavior for DWI. Officers can also stop the driver if there is a broken taillight and then move forward with a DWI investigation if the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence due to bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol or slurred speech. Then the officer can ask for the driver to submit to testing. There is an advisory statement about implied consent that the officer must read to the driver when the stop is made. If the driver still refuses, that charge will be added.
Avenues of defense after a DWI charge
A traffic stop and subsequent arrest for DWI can be intimidating and worrisome with the possibility of a driver license suspension, incarceration, fines and more. However, there are important facts to remember with implied consent and these can be vital to the defense. Many of the factors that led to the arrest could be scrutinized. For example, if the officer did not have probable cause for the stop or to request the test, that could be a crucial part of the defense and result in a favorable outcome. Having an aggressive advocate is key for any DWI case. After an arrest, consulting with a qualified legal professional may help with negotiating a plea bargain or having the charges dismissed.