Aggressively Protecting Your Rights

Does the implied consent ruling apply retroactively?

| Jun 7, 2017 | Drunk Driving

The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently ruled against a man who was seeking a change in his case based on new implied consent laws in the state. The newest changes to the implied consent law show that demanding blood or urine without a warrant is illegal due to the invasive nature of these requests. Interestingly, in other cases, the ruling has applied retroactively, but in this case, the judge does not believe the man’s case should have the new rules applied.

In this man’s case, he was stopped for DUIs three times. In two cases, he provided urine to the police. In a third, he gave blood. He claims he was told he could be charged more seriously if he refused to give the police what they asked for.

Since then the law has been clarified and shows that urine and blood samples are invasive enough to require a warrant. In most cases, only a Breathalyzer test falls under the implied consent laws. As a result, the man challenged the warrantless searches he went through.

The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that the man wasn’t coerced, so the results of the tests would hold. However, the U.S. Supreme Court determined in 2016 that laws that punish those stopped by police for refusing invasive tests are illegal.

When that ruling was issued, the man again challenged the tests he was given, stating that he was told he could face harsher penalties if he had refused. The Minnesota Court of Appeals refused his argument stating that the new decision didn’t apply retroactively. However, other cases in the court have used the same ruling and resulted in men going free without charges thanks to the exclusion of the tests. Since this has happened in the past, the man may be able to take his case all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court for a final decision.

Changes in laws can affect your case, even after a conviction. If you believe your case is impacted by changes in law, your attorney can help you file an appeal.

Source: News Cut: Minnesota Public Radio, “Another court loss for MN man challenging DUI search rules,” Bob Collins, accessed June 07, 2017