Monday, January 27, 2014

Minnesota DWI Lawyer Blogs on Minnesota DWI: This Week's Featured Minnesota DWI Case

The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is State v. Drum, (Minnesota Court of Appeals Unpublished Opinion issued January 27, 2014) which stands for the proposition that simply reading the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory to a person under arrest does not render "involuntary" his or her consent to the warrantless search of the breath, blood or urine.

In Drum, the Defendant was arrested for DWI and was read the Minnesota Advisory, which states in pertinent part, "Minnesota law requires you to submit to testing" and, "Refusal to submit to testing is a crime."  The Defendant subsequently submitted to testing and his breath test result was a .14

The Defendant filed a motion to suppress the test result arguing that his consent to testing was not voluntary as the Minnesota Advisory coerced him into taking the test.  The District Court agreed with the Defendant and threw out the test result but on appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed, stating:

"In Brooks, 838 N.W.2d at 570-72, the Minnesota Supreme Court held as a matter of law that the criminal test-refusal penalty in the implied-consent law is not coercive. Although we look to the totality of the circumstances to determine consent, Dezso, 512 N.W.2d at 880, nothing in this record reveals further circumstances that would lead us to conclude that Drum’s consent was coerced. We therefore hold that Drum voluntarily consented to the breathalyzer test at issue in this case, and reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion and Minnesota law."