During a Minnesota DWI Stop, Can a Driver Choose Which BAC Test to Take?

The simple answer is: very rarely. However, a choice is available as between blood or urine tests, if one is offered by the arresting officer.

Because they provide fast results, the majority of Minnesota drivers are offered a breath test. This test, which is different from a roadside, preliminary breath test, is administered at the police station or jail facility after a DWI arrest has been made. A driver who is offered a breath test is required to either take the breath test or be charged with test refusal. Under Minnesota law, a driver cannot choose a blood or urine test in place of the breath test. If a driver is physically incapable of providing a sufficient breath sample due to a condition such as asthma, the police must offer the driver a blood or urine test.

A physical lack of ability to provide a breath test sometimes occurs. If a driver is physically capable, he / she must provide a satisfactory sample. Intentionally failing to blow into the machine properly is considered test refusal.

On occasion, the police will offer a driver a blood or urine test instead of a breath test. This occurs in a wide range of circumstances, including if the breath machine is not working properly or when a driver is believed to be under the influence of a controlled substance.

A driver who refuses a blood or urine test must be offered a different type of test under Minnesota’s Implied Consent Law. Furthermore, due to the intrusive and penetrating nature of blood and urine testing, a search warrant is likely necessary. Even with a warrant, under Minnesota law, a driver who rejects a blood test must be offered a urine or breath test.

Due to of the right to a substitute test, police officers regularly ask a driver if he / she will agree to a blood or urine test, offering the driver an option between the two. Urine tests, blood tests, and breath tests can sometimes lead to divergent results, based on a number of circumstances, thus it is crucial that before choosing a test, the suspect driver exercise his / her right to consult with an attorney via phone conference.

If you have been charged with a DWI in Minnesota – or if you simply have a legal question – do not hesitate to contact DWI defense attorney William J. Mauzy online or by calling 612-340-9108.

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