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The pros and cons of submitting to a breathalyzer in Minnesota

You just made a mistake. After drinking throughout the summer day, you get in your vehicle and attempt to drive home. An officer pulls you over and wishes to administer a breathalyzer, but you worry that you could blow over the legal limit.

Because of the implied consent law in Minnesota, a court may penalize you with serious punishments if you refuse a chemical test. Multiple pros and cons exist when determining whether to take a Breathalyzer, so it's important to understand the consequences of refusing the test. Moreover, Minnesota punishments confirm that finding a sober ride this summer is your safest option.

Implied consent in Minnesota

According to Minnesota statutes, if you operate a vehicle with an active, legal license, you consent to subject yourself to any chemical tests on a roadway. To ensure the safety of all drivers and passengers, the implied consent law helps confirm the presence of alcohol in an individual’s body.

The test’s legality holds true only if an officer has probable cause to administer it. A probable cause situation includes:

  1. You committed a traffic violation such as ignoring a stop sign or being unable to stay in your lane.
  2. After an officer pulled you over, you smelled of alcohol.
  3. Then, the officer noticed your bloodshot eyes and inability to speak clearly.

The implied consent law inflicts punishments to individuals who refuse to take a chemical test when asked by a police officer.

The pros and cons of submitting to a test

During your field sobriety stop, you may wish to weigh your decisions.

DWI charges in Minnesota may result in a misdemeanor charge and:

  • Up to 90 days in jail
  • A $1,000 fine

Refusing to take a Breathalyzer in Minnesota results in a gross misdemeanor charge (escalated due to your DWI) and:

  • Up to one year in jail
  • A $3,000 fine

Understanding the consequences has significant weight in determining whether you should take the breathalyzer test.

If you decide to take it and you:

  • Blow over the legal limit: You will receive a DWI charge.
  • Blow under the legal limit: You will not receive a DWI charge.

If you decide not to take the test and you:

  • Blow over the legal limit: You will receive a DWI charge and refusal to submit penalties.
  • Blow under the legal limit: You will still receive refusal to submit penalties.

DUI situations vary, so if possible, discuss your options with an attorney at the scene. If you cannot discuss your options, weigh the consequences before accepting or refusing a breathalyzer test.

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