This past summer, we noted important decisions that the U.S. Supreme Court and the Minnesota Supreme Court were making related to Minnesota’s implied consent and DUI laws. Last month, the Minnesota Supreme Court expanded those decisions and have determined that drugs can now be a part of the DWI blood test.
While all of the protections still apply, and officers still must follow very specific rules to obtain a blood test, what’s changed is that if the test results reveal the presence of illegal drugs or any drugs for which the person has no valid prescription, the person can be charged with a DUI or even criminal vehicular operation if there is an accident. This is true even if there is no alcohol detected in the blood.
There continues to be debate about “probable cause”–that is, how an officer could have enough reason to suspect a person is under the influence of drugs, but the court has resolved to decide those on a case-by-case basis.