Certain holiday weekends are responsible for some of the highest numbers of DWI arrests throughout the country. This is especially true for holidays like Labor Day or the 4th of July. Given the high rate drunken-driving on these weekends, some states have taken an aggressive approach to enforcement during these holidays. One of the tools used in some states is known as “DWI no refusal” weekends. If you’re asking what does DWI No Refusal Mean in Minneapolis and MN, it is different than in real “No Refusal” and “No Refusal Weekends” states like Texas.
The term “DWI no refusal” is used in certain states when law enforcement goes extra lengths to obtain DWI convictions. This is most common in the state of Texas. On many holidays, police in Texas will have judges on standby to contact for a warrant for any driver suspected of DWI that refuses a breath test. This warrant, once issues, will allow the police to compel a blood sample from the suspect.
There are no DWI no refusal weekends in Minnesota. While this concept is primarily used in Texas, Minnesota has its own aggressive approach to refusing to submit that applies all year long. In fact, Minnesota is one of the few states where refusing a chemical test can have criminal consequences. If you have been charged with a DWI, contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller right away.
The Right to Refuse a Breathalyzer in Minneapolis
Ultimately, you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test following an arrest for DWI. This kind of intrusion into your body is not mandatory without a court order. While you have the right to refuse, that does not mean doing so will not have consequences.
It is important to remember that the police could ask you to perform two different breath tests. The first, known as a portable breath test, is done at the roadside. This typically occurs prior to an arrest. The second breath test occurs following an arrest and uses the larger breathalyzer machines.
There are only consequences tied to refusing the second test. Not only is the roadside test not mandatory, the results of this test are not admissible at trial. This is because the margin of error on these portable tests is fairly large.
Penalties for Refusing to Submit to a Chemical Test in MN
You might have the right to refuse a chemical test, but that does not mean that refusal will not have an impact on your criminal case. In Minnesota, a refusal could add both criminal and administrative penalties to your DWI case if you are ultimately convicted.
The impact of a refusal to submit will kick in right away. As soon as you refuse to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test, the arresting officer will turn over a report of refusal to the Commissioner of Public Safety for administrative penalties. This could ultimately result in the suspension of your driving privileges—even though you have not yet been convicted of a crime. You could lose your driving privileges for up to a year, especially if you do not contest the suspension. Our team of attorneys can help you fight back against this administrative suspension.
Refusing to submit to a chemical test can also have criminal consequences. However, these penalties are tied to an underlying DWI charge instead of a separate offense independent of the DWI. In other words, you will not face a criminal arrest only for refusing a test.
Instead, refusal is a factor in the severity of an underlying DWI charge. For example, most first-time DWI offenders are charged with a misdemeanor that cares no more than 90 days in jail. A person that has refused a breath test will face steeper maximum penalties, even if they are a first-time offender. A person that has refused a breath test will face gross misdemeanor charges that can lead to as much as one year behind bars.
Speak to a Minneapolis DWI Defense Lawyer at Gerald Miller
Refusing to submit to a chemical test following a DWI arrest might increase the potential penalties you face, but it does not guarantee that you will be convicted. The attorneys of Gerald Miller have taken on similar cases and obtained favorable outcomes at trial. To discuss your legal options and plan your defense, contact our firm as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation.