Monday, December 1, 2014
Minnesota DWI - Filed Sobriety Tests (Explained)
A Minnesota law enforcement officer, after pulling over a driver for suspected of drunk driving, will usually say something to the effect of “I need to have you step out --- and do a few tests to make sure you are okay to drive."
The sad truth is, the driver is (usually) not told that he/she has the option to refuse those tests.
Filed Sobriety Tests (The Truth)
Almost always, the purpose for the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs) is to gather evidence against you to be used at trial --- not to "prove" that you are not under the influence.
Here's what you need to know: there are (at least) two ways to convict a person of DWI: one is to prove that they drove and had a alcohol concentration of .08 or more as tested by a blood, breath or urine test. However, suppose an experienced Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney gets the test kicked out? The government can still convict you if they can prove that you drove at a time that you were impaired by alcohol.
Whether or not you are “impaired” is determined by the officers observations, your conduct and your statements. It is for this reason that police will tell you to do the SFSTs.
They will later testify in court that your inability to do the test proves you were impaired.
The good news is that you are not required by law to do SFSTs. You have a right to decline. If you decline, do not say you are declining because your are too drunk to do them. Simply say that you invoke your right not to perform those tests.
If you do not perform the tests ... especially if you decline to offer of a sample of your breath (on the side of the road for the the preliminary breath test (PBT) ... the officer can place you under arrest, transport you back to the police station and ask you give a sample of you blood, breath or urine.
You have no duty to make the cops case for him.
If you need help with a DWI arrest, contact the Rolloff Law Office for FREE ANSWERS. Call today: (612) 234-1165