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U.S. Supreme Court Considers State's Implied Consent Law

Criminal laws in the state of Minnesota are not set in stone. They can change as a result of actions taken by lawmakers as well as court decisions. Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules on a case it is currently considering, the state could see a change where the administration of breath tests is concerned.

Warrants For Breath Tests

The case involves the constitutionality of the state's implied consent law, specifically whether it violates the Fourth Amendment. Currently, individuals who are suspected of drunk driving and refuse a breathalyzer test could face criminal charges, not for drunk driving, but the refusal to submit to the test. One of the cases being considered by the court involves a Minnesota man who was charged with a felony after he refused to agree to sobriety tests, including chemical testing.

Warrants For Blood Tests

This is not the first time a question regarding warrants pertaining to drunk driving testing has arisen in the state. Last fall the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that before administering a blood test to a driver suspected of being impaired, law enforcement must have a warrant. In that case the opinion indicated the government's desire for a warrantless blood test did not outweigh the constitutional rights of the accused.

While it is unclear how the Supreme Court will rule on the breath test question, its decision could reach beyond the state of Minnesota. This is because there are 13 other states that currently have implied-consent laws in place that are similar to Minnesota's.

Regardless of how the court rules, when someone faces drunk driving charges, the administration of breath, blood or urine tests, are areas that could be ripe for a challenge. Attorney Matthew J. Mankey understands how in some situations, these challenges could be used to secure a reduction in charges or, in some cases even a dismissal of the charges. To learn more he can be contacted online or at 612-424-9454.

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