Every driver in Minnesota—whether they realize it or not—has given their consent to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test when suspected of driving while intoxicated. This law, known as “implied consent,” is used to varying degrees in every state. If you’re asking who can draw blood for DWI in Minnesota, the police do have the right.
However, many courts have treated the drawing of a blood sample differently than a breath or urine sample. A blood draw is the most painful and intrusive of the three methods, and it is the most likely to be objected to by the individual in question.
While the police have the right to seek a blood test, the United States Supreme Court has held that a warrant is necessary unlike a breath or urine sample. This means that the police could draw your blood during a DWI investigation. To learn more about your rights following a DWI arrest, contact the attorneys of Gerald Miller as soon as possible.
Which Party Draws Blood for the Police in Minnesota?
Unlike collecting a breath or urine sample, not just anyone can collect a blood sample. Drawing blood is a medical procedure that requires specific training. For that reason, officers typically take DWI suspects to a local hospital or medical facility. There, they have a nurse draw blood under their supervision.
Who Gets to Decide What Type of Test I Take in Minnesota?
According to state law, drivers give their implied consent to either a breath, blood, or urine test. The law allows the arresting officer to select the type of test used. Most of the time, law enforcement selects a breath test as it is simple to perform and does not require the assistance of medical personal. Additionally, these tests are taken at police stations or sheriff’s offices equipped with a breathalyzer device.
Is a Warrant Necessary for a Blood Draw in Minnesota?
While the police have the right to choose the type of test given, they must obtain a warrant executed by a judge in order to require a blood test. This requirement is thanks to a 2019 United States Supreme Court case known as Missouri vs. McNeely.
In McNeely, the Missouri Supreme Court held that a warrant was unnecessary due to the state’s implied consent laws. The Supreme Court of the United States disagreed. On an 8-1 vote, the Supreme Court found that a blood draw was so intrusive that requiring one without a warrant was unconstitutional. Because it involves physically removing something from a person’s body, the court reasoned that a blood draw was a search or seizure. Under the 4th Amendment to the Constitution, an unlawful search or seizure may not be used as evidence at a criminal trial.
There are still some questions that remain following the decision. Specifically, the Supreme Court acknowledged that a warrant would not be necessary under exigent circumstances. The Court also found that the natural metabolization of alcohol in the blood stream in and of itself did not create exigent circumstances sufficient to eliminate the need for a warrant. The court reasoned that, thanks to modern technology, a warrant could be obtained in relatively short order at any time of the day.
While the Supreme Court declined to rule that every DWI case presented exigent circumstances due to the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol, it acknowledged that cases could exist where a warrantless blood draw would be necessary. McNeely stood out because the arresting officer admitted that they made no effort to secure a warrant, and there was no testimony as to why a warrant could not be obtained in time. The Supreme Court might have ruled differently if the police had made an effort to secure a warrant or provided a reason for why they could not.
Speak to a Minneapolis DWI Defense Lawyer About Your Blood Draw
Are you asking, Who can draw blood for a DWI in Minnesota? The police do have the right under implied consent, but must obtain a warrant. Even if the police legally collect a breath, blood, or urine sample from you, there are other grounds that preclude the state from using it at trial. Without the results of your blood test, the state might not have enough evidence to move forward with their case.
The attorneys of Gerald Miller have successfully suppressed the results of blood, breath, and urine tests in a number of DWI trials. To learn about how we might approach a defense strategy in your case, call today for a free consultation.