What's New with Minnesota DWI Laws in 2016
The Supreme Court Is Reviewing Minnesota's DWI Laws
Minnesota has cracked down on DWI’s in the past few years by increasing DWI enforcement and creating harsher penalties for offenders. Minnesota’s BAC refusal test law is under examination by the Supreme Court to determine if it is unconstitutional. The Supreme Court’s decision could happen sometime later this year. Currently, it is a crime in Minnesota to refuse a BAC test, even when cops don’t have a warrant.
This leads to the big question - is the BAC test refusal law unconstitutional?
This is such an important question, that some judges are putting cases on hold to hear the Supreme Court’s decision before making their own. Breathalyzer tests might be affected by this in the future too, which bring us to the next hot topic of 2016.
MN's Breathalyzer Tests Are Under Examination
This month, a Minnesota law firm challenged the reliability of breathalyzer tests. The firm argues the state is not adjusting for biases like they do for blood and urine tests. Some machines may read high, others may read low. This results in wrongful convictions and missed convictions. A judge is expected to rule on the cases that challenge the results in a couple of months.
A New DWI Defense Emerges - The Necessity Defense
There are multiple ways a Minneapolis DWI lawyer could defend you after a DWI arrest. The first common defense is that the officer didn’t have probable cause to pull you over. The second common defense claim is that the breathalyzer test or sobriety test wasn’t administered properly. A new defense may be on the horizon, the necessity defense. Minnesota lawmakers are currently looking at amending the implied consent statute so the necessity defense can be used in drunk driving cases. The necessity defense usually applies to criminal cases, not with license revocation cases.
This defense is used when the defendant’s life was in danger and they had no choice but to commit a crime. The defendant can’t create the harm and they have to stop the crime whenever they are out of harm’s way. An example of this would be if someone was going to injure you at home and you had no choice but to drive away to protect yourself.
The current law may be amended so the necessity defense may be used in drunken-driving implied consent cases. To read more about this story, click here.
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If you are facing a DWI conviction, contact aggressive DWI lawyer Carolyn Agin Schmidt today.
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