The Minnesota DWI Case Of The Week is Mortenson v. Commissioner of Public Safety (Decided September 24, 2018, Minnesota Court of Appeals, Published) which stands for the proposition that if you refuse to submit to testing, you cannot claim you were misled by an inaccurate Implied Consent Advisory.
In Mortenson, the Petitioner was arrested for a DWI and was read a Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory. Mr. Mortenson refused to submit to a blood or urine test and the commissioner revoked his license.
The Petitioner challenged the license revocation arguing his license revocation should be rescinded because the state cannot constitutionally charge him with a crime for refusing warrantless blood and urine tests. The district court agreed and rescinded the revocation of Mortenson's license to drive. The Court of Appeals agreed initially with the district court, issuing an order opinion affirming the district court's rescission based on a different theory, reasoning that the implied-consent advisory misled Mortenson by inaccurately informing him that refusal to take a blood or urine test is a crime and that the advisory therefore violated Mortenson's right to due process under McDonnell v. Comm 'r of Pub. Safety, 473 N.W.2d 848, 853-55 (Minn. 1991), and Johnson v. Comm'r of Pub. Safety, 887 N.W.2d 281, 292, 294-95 (Minn. App. 2016), rev 'd, 911 N.W.2d 506 (Minn. 2018).
The supreme court granted the commissioner of public safety's petition for review and stayed further proceedings pending final disposition in Morehouse v. Comm 'r of Pub. Safety, 911 N.W.2d 503 (Minn. 2018), and Johnson. After the supreme court issued its opinions in Morehouse and Johnson, the supreme court vacated the Court of Appeals' decision, and remanded the matter back to the Court of Appeals for reconsideration in light of Johnson.
On remand, the Court of Appeals reversed itself, stating:
"The supreme court reversed this court's decision in Johnson and clarified that a due-process violation under McDonnell does not occur "solely because a driver [has] been misled." 911 N.W.2d at 508. Instead, the supreme court held that a due-process violation occurs only if "three key elements" are met:
(1) the person whose license was revoked submitted to a breath, blood, or urine test; (2) the person prejudicially relied on the implied consent advisory in deciding to undergo testing; and (3) the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 supreme court determined that Johnson could not satisfy the first two elements because he refused to submit to blood and urine tests, reasoning that "there [was] no concern . . . that [he] was prejudiced by relying on misleading statements by the officer about the consequences of refusing a test because [he] did not submit to testing." Johnson, 911 N.W.2d at 509. Because Johnson could not establish the first two elements of his McDonnell due-process claim, there was no due-process violation, and "Johnson [was] not entitled to a rescission of his license revocation." Id."
"Johnson clarified that due-process relief under McDonnell is only available to drivers who submit to testing, Johnson effectively overruled Steinolfson."
Moral Of The Story: You can't claim you were misled if you refused to follow in the first place.
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.