If you are pulled over in Minnesota and the officer believes you are under the influence of alcohol, they will probably ask you to take a roadside preliminary breath test. You do not have to take this test. If you refuse, you will probably be arrested for DWI based on the officer’s other observations. After you are arrested, you will generally be transported to a police station.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol, the officer can require you to take a breath test. This process starts with the officer reading an advisory, and asking whether you understand and whether you want to talk to an attorney. Ultimately, the officer will ask whether you will take a breath test. If you agree, one will be administered. If you refuse, you will be charged with the crime of refusing to take a breath test. Officers are required to get a warrant only if they want a urine or blood test.
You may also be charged with test refusal if the officer believes you are interfering with the process. This includes refusing to listen during the advisory and refusing to make a decision on testing. It also includes failing to follow directions during the test itself. It sometimes happens that a driver will blow into the machine, but will not blow hard enough or long enough for a sample the machine will accept. This can result in the machine calling the breath sample “deficient.” You will usually be given a second opportunity, unless the officer believes you are deliberately uncooperative. If your second attempt is also deficient, you may be charged with test refusal.
Furthermore, it is not sufficient to give one good breath. The testing machine has a sequence which requires two samples at two separate times. If your first sample is sufficient, but you don’t give a second breath or it is insufficient, you could still be charged with test refusal.
Our office has successfully fought test refusal cases, both in criminal and civil court. Don’t face a test-refusal charge without experienced legal representation. These cases are complicated. You deserve straight talk, honest answers, and vigorous representation. Test refusal often carries more significant penalties than failing the test. We have the skills to expertly handle your case to ensure the best possible result. Give us a call if you or a friend has been charged with refusing a breath test.