The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is Windsor v. Commissioner of Public Safety (Decided November 5, 2018, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Published) which stands for the proposition that if the police read a misleading advisory to a person under arrest for DWI, the arrestee must testify he or she relied on the misleading advisory in order to establish a due process violation.
In Windsor, the Petitioner was arrested for a DWI and was read a Minnesota Implied Consent advisory and was asked to submit to a blood test. The advisory falsely advised the Petitioner that refusal to submit to a warrantless blood test was a crime. The Petitioner submitted to a blood test and the test result indicated the presence of amphetamine.
The commissioner revoked Windsor’s license to drive based on the results of the blood test. Windsor petitioned the district court for rescission of the license revocation. The district court held an implied-consent hearing, at which the court received the following evidence: a peace-officer certificate, a copy of the implied-consent advisory that was read to Windsor, and a copy of Windsor’s test results. Windsor did not testify at the hearing.
The district court rejected Windsor’s Fourth Amendment argument, reasoning that Windsor “freely and voluntarily” consented to the blood test. However, the district court relied on McDonnell and found that the state violated Windsor’s right to due process because “[i]t was not a crime for [Windsor] to refuse a warrantless request for a blood test” and that Windsor was therefore “misled when he was told refusal was a crime.” The district court concluded, “Since the portion of the Implied Consent Advisory that informed [Windsor] that ‘test refusal is a crime’ was unconstitutional, his driver’s license revocation is rescinded.
The State appealed and the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed the district court, noting:
"In its recent decision in Johnson, the supreme court stated that a due-process violation under McDonnell does not occur 'solely because a driver [has] been misled' by an implied-consent advisory. 911 N.W.2d at 508. Instead, the supreme court stated:
A license revocation violates due process when: (1) the person whose license was revoked submitted to a breath, blood, or urine test; (2) the person prejudicially relied on the implied consent advisory in deciding to undergo testing; and (3) the implied consent advisory did not accurately inform the person of the legal consequences of refusing to submit to the testing. Id. at 508-09 (citing McDonnell, 473 N.W.2d at 853-55)."
"The circumstances here are identical to those in Morehouse. Although Windsor submitted to a blood test, he did not establish that he prejudicially relied on the implied- consent advisory in deciding to submit to the test. He therefore is not entitled to due- process relief under McDonnell."
Moral Of The Story: Only the squeaky wheel gets the grease!
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI, or are facing a DWI forfeiture of your motor vehicle, feel free to contact Minneapolis DWI Lawyer, F. T. Sessoms at (612) 344-1505 for answers to all of your Minnesota DWI questions.