The Supreme Court of Minnesota has ruled that the results of blood tests in certain cases of drunk driving can be introduced in court, even if the blood sample was taken without a warrant. The court said that when driving while intoxicated in Minnesota in suspected to have contributed to a serious accident or an accident with fatalities, law enforcement has the right to draw a blood sample from the driver to test for blood alcohol content. That action simply needs probable cause and neither the driver’s consent or a search warrant is required.
The finding overturns a District Court ruling involving a 2006 case of a woman accused of vehicular homicide. A Minnesota DWI defense attorney argued, and the lower court agreed, that police should have sought a warrant before taking the defendant’s blood without her consent. The High Court said that the rapid and natural breakdown of alcohol in the bloodstream established a circumstance that justified taking a warrantless and non-consensual blood sample. It went on to clarify that such blood draws would require the police to have probable cause in cases of a criminal vehicular operation or homicide.
The ruling was received well by law enforcement groups. A State Patrol representative said that officers were being made aware of the ruling.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Minnesota you will need to hire an experienced Minnesota DWI attorney to protect your rights and guide you through the legal process.