Keeping on top of Minnesota DWI law requires attendance at the Annual Minnesota DWI Defense seminar in the Twin Cities area. This year's seminar, held on June 14th, was especially exciting, due to the recent case, Missouri v. McNeely. In McNeely, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that warrantless, non-consensual OWI/DWI/DUI blood draws are unconstitutional.
The speakers on the topic of McNeely were Chuck Ramsay, Jeffrey Ring, and Jeff Sheridan. These preeminent attorneys have spent their gifted careers representing DWI defendants in the Minnesota District Courts. They were each very excited that the Supreme Court of the United States has finally declared unconstitutional the practice of forcing OWI/DWI/DUI suspects to submit to blood draws without first getting a warrant based on probable cause. In fact, Jeffrey Ring described McNeely as the most important case in the area of DWI defense during his long career. That is is really saying something,
Minnesota requires arrested DWI suspects to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test. Refusal to test is a crime in itself, often more serious than the DWI they were arrested for. Almost all DWI suspects are read an Implied Consent advisory that tells them that it is a crime to refuse testing. In other words, there is no such thing as consent to the test. There is a strong argument that, like the blood test in McNeely, breath tests and urine tests will also be deemed to require a warrant. Despite the McNeely ruling, law enforcement is not getting warrants prior to requiring submission to their tests. That means any BAC test is subject to challenge.
All competent DWI defense attorneys are challenging these tests at the trial court level. Attorney Jeff Sheridan already has a case postured to lead the challenge in the Minnesota courts of appeal. I will be doing my part, and I will be watching carefully to ensure my client's rights are preserved, and that McNeely is enforced. If you have been charged with DWI in any county in South-Eastern Minnesota, including Houston County, Winona County, Fillmore County, Olmstead County, and Wabasha County, feel free to contact me for free information.