The Minnesota State Supreme Court has made a new ruling involving the testing of blood and urine, allowing them to align with much of the rest of the country. In the summer of 2015, the Minnesota Supreme Court had ruled on warrantless breath tests, where law enforcement can conduct a breath sample as a tool in the incident of an arrest.
The new change states that urine and blood testing does require a warrant, allowing the person to be tested the right to refuse. If the defendant refuses to a blood or urine test, their license will be revoked for a year.
How much time does law enforcement have to get a warrant?
Law enforcement typically has two hours within the time that they come in contact with the driver to obtain a sample. They need to be able to show, as part of the statue, that the person is under the influence over 0.08 within two hours of their driving conduct.
How can they show how someone is under the influence?
Law enforcement can take a sample two and half hours after driving conduct, then have someone from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension lab say, “This is where the defendant was two and a half hours. This is where they would have been within the two hours.”
Why don’t they do this more often?
It costs more money and takes more time, and it also puts more stress on the justice system. Currently, warrants can be issued via telephone or online.
Where does the law currently stand?
“If law enforcement ask you to take the breath test, you have to take it,” attorney Zach Bauer shares. “That’s where the law currently stands now. That may also change because the ruling of the Minnesota Supreme Court made back in February 2015 has now been taken up by the United States Supreme Court to see whether that was proper. So that may change as well. The whole implied consent statute may be changing. But if law enforcement gets a warrant, you have to consent. If it’s a breath test, you have to consent. If it’s a blood and urine test, you don’t have to consent. You can refuse. The one thing you need to understand though is that if you do refuse your license is going to be revoked for a year.”
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