Changes to Minnesota DWI Law

In the 2017 Minnesota legislative session, changes were made to MN DWI Laws. These new laws went into affect at the beginning of July. None of these changes are ground-shaking, but it’s nonetheless important to understand them and how they’ll affect DWI law and your rights.

Implied Consent Advisory

The form that a law enforcement officer reads to an individual to ask if they want to speak to an attorney or will take a breath test has long been called the Implied Consent Advisory. Part of your privilege of driving in Minnesota includes having to take a test for alcohol concentration if an officer has probable cause to believe you’ve been drinking. Refusal to take a test was a crime. This form’s name has now changed to Breath Test Advisory. This was almost done because you now have a right to refuse to submit to a urine or blood test, absent a warrant (see below). The defendant still cannot refuse a request for a breath test. This new advisory tries to make this clear.

Blood or Urine Samples

Although the law was effectively interpreted as a requiring a warrant for blood or urine samples, this now is specifically spelled out in the law. You do not have a choice as to what type of sample to give.

Petition for Judicial Review

Previously, if you were to fight a driver’s license revocation, you had 30 days to fill out the petition from receiving receipt of a notice and order of revocation. This has now been extended to 60 days. This is a huge help
to defending your right to drive as we now have more time to prepare a petition.

Prescription Controlled Substances

There used to be inconsistency between the criminal law and implied consent setting in that it was an affirmative defense to the criminal charges to be taking prescribed medication in accordance with a prescription. But, this defense was not eligible in implied consent cases. Now, this inconsistency no longer exists. The prescription drug defense now applies in both settings. Our previous blog on this topic is no longer accurate.

As you can see, Minnesota’s DWI law continues to evolve. What is already a confusing area of law for many attorneys – even some criminal defense attorneys – has added new wrinkles to the case that require a seasoned and respected DWI attorney to counsel and fight for you.