blog 2017-12-21T21:53:26+00:00

Minnesota Supreme Court Rules It’s Constitutional to Criminalize Test Refusal in DWI Cases

In today’s surprising 5-2 decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that it’s constitutional to criminalize test refusal in a DWI case where the driver refuses to submit to a breath test. The case is State v. Bernard. You can read the court’s decision here.

For the first time in history, the court applied the “search-incident-to-arrest” exception to DWI cases, and ruled that the Fourth Amendment does not require a warrant to search a person’s breath for alcohol content after a valid DWI arrest. Because a warrant is not required to search the person’s breath for alcohol content, a driver’s refusal to […]

Police in Ramsey County Are Adding License Plate Scanners to Detect Criminal Activity

StarTribune reports that several police agencies in Ramsey County are adding automatic license plate scanners to their surveillance arsenal on the roadways. The devices should be operational by mid-February. Agencies in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Hennepin County, Washington County, and several other jurisdictions already are using them. 
 
The scanners allow law enforcement to read license plates automatically and run the information through the government databases. Officers then are alerted via their squad car computers whether any problem exists with the scanned vehicle. In addition, the scanners are located at fixed […]

Jay Carey Discusses Minnesota DWI Laws on the Rick Borman Show

Jay Carey recently appeared as a guest on the Rick Borman Show, which is a talk radio program in Naples, Florida. The topic of the interview was Minnesota’s whiskey plates laws and DWI laws in general. 
 
To listen to the broadcast, click here. The interview starts approximately halfway into the program.
By | June 18th, 2013|Categories: Minnesota DWI News, Minnesota DWI Statistics|0 Comments

McNeely and the Constitutionality of Minnesota’s DWI Laws

On April 17, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Missouri v. McNeely, holding that a nonconsensual, warrantless blood test in a DWI case violated the defendant’s right to be free from an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment. The Court ruled that a warrant was required to obtain a sample of the defendant’s blood for alcohol testing. Consequently, the blood test was excluded as evidence in the case.

McNeely is a seminal case in the area of DWI law. Prior to McNeely, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that a warrant never is required to obtain a sample of a driver’s blood, breath, […]

Should You Take or Refuse the Test in a Minnesota DWI Case?

This is probably the most common question asked of a DWI lawyer. The short answer is: You should take the test with a few important caveats.

The best advice is to call a lawyer before you take the test. The police give you at least 20 minutes to reach a lawyer for advice. They provide directories and may allow you to use your cell phone to find a lawyer. Because it’s often difficult to reach a lawyer late at night, keep calling lawyers until you reach one directly. The police often will give you extra time to reach a lawyer if […]

Minnesota Supreme Court Limits DWI Vehicle Forfeiture Statute – Plain Language Prevails

On September 26, 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court released an important decision in the DWI vehicle forfeiture of Patino v. One 2007 Chevrolet. The Court applied the plain language of the DWI forfeiture statute and held that an owner is entitled to return of the vehicle if the alleged offender attends court and is not convicted of the “designated offense” triggering the initial forfeiture.

Under the forfeiture statute, a “designated offense” is defined as First or Second Degree DWI/Test Refusal or any DWI/Test Refusal offense where the driver has a B-card restriction or is canceled inimical to public safety (IPS).

The decision […]

By | October 6th, 2012|Categories: Minnesota DWI Court Opinions, Minnesota DWI Forfeiture|0 Comments

By 4-3 Margin, Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds Validity of Intoxilyzer 5000EN Breath Test in Thousands of Pending DWI Cases

On June 27, 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court released its long-awaited decision regarding the validity of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN breath machine, used in thousands of pending Minnesota DWI cases. By a 4-3 margin, the Supreme Court upheld the validity and reliability of the Intoxilyzer 5000EN machine. A copy of the decision is available here.

The decision ends an approximately six-year battle regarding access to, and analysis of, the Intoxilyzer’s source code, which governs the machine’s operation. Despite finding errors in the source code, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that these errors do not affect the reliability of the test results. Thus, […]

State’s Destruction of Blood Sample Prior to DWI Trial Violated Due Process

In State v. Hawkinson, decided March 26, 2012, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the State of Minnesota violated defendant’s due process rights by destroying defendant’s blood sample before the DWI trial and after defendant’s specific demand to preserve the blood sample for trial. The court of appeals relied on the seminal U.S. Supreme Court case of Brady v. Maryland, which established that the “suppression by the prosecution of evidence favorable to an accused upon request violates due process where the evidence is material either to guilt or to punishment, irrespective of the good faith or bad faith […]

Rosemount Police Did Not Engage in Overzealous DWI Enforcement, Despite Complaints by Bar Owners

Twincities.com reports that an internal review of the Rosemount Police Department found no impropriety in its recent DWI enforcement, despite several complaints by owners of downtown drinking establishments alleging that the police were overzealously targeting its patrons. The owners complained that police officers were stopping drivers for no reason and consequently, scaring away business. One restaurant manager reported that she was stopped five times by the Rosemount Police. WCCO News even conducted its own investigation.

In response to the complaints, Rosemount’s city council ordered a review of nightly traffic stops made between December 2011 and February 2012. Lieutenant Jewel Erickson […]

By | March 15th, 2012|Categories: Minnesota DWI News, Minnesota DWI Statistics|0 Comments

Canada Eases Entry Rules for First-Time DWI Offenders

The Star Tribune reports that Canada has eased its strict policy denying Americans entry into Canada if they have a single DWI conviction. In the past, Americans with a single DWI conviction often were deemed inadmissible because DWI is considered an “indictable offence” in Canada. An “indictable offence” is similar to a felony in the American system. Canada’s new policy is in response to lost tourism revenue.

The new Canadian policy effective March 1, 2012, allows certain first-time offenders a one-time exemption. Importantly, the policy doesn’t help Americans enter Canada more than once and doesn’t help those with more than one […]

Load More Posts