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Minnesota DUI - Rising blood alcohol defense

Recently on our DUI forum we had a driver who was arrested for a Minnesota DUI ask if they can challenge their blood alcohol concentration test (BAC) if they scored 0.15% but their test was given to them too long after they were operating their vehicle. Their goal is to prove that they were not intoxicated at the time they were actually driving and should not have been arrested for a Minnesota DUI.

Penalties for a Minnesota DUI

If you are operating a motorized vehicle in Minnesota you have given your implied consent to submit to a blood alcohol concentration test of your breath, blood or urine if the police officer demands you do so. The police, however, can only ask you to submit to the test if they have probable cause that you were operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The police officer has the right to determine what type of test you will take. It is illegal to refuse to take the breath test but if you are offered a blood test you may be able to submit to the urine test instead (or vice versa).

Could my blood alcohol concentration test be flawed?

There are very specific procedures which must be followed to ensure that your test results are valid. Drivers may be able to challenge their BAC test using the blood alcohol rising defense. Under this defense, your drunk driving lawyer may be able to prove that because alcohol can take hours to absorb fully into your blood stream your blood alcohol concentration level may have been substantially lower at the time you were driving than when the blood, breath or urine test was given at the police station, especially if most of the alcohol you consumed was done so immediately prior to the DUI stop. For instance, maybe when you were operating your vehicle your blood alcohol concentration was 0.06% but an hour later at the police station, after the alcohol is absorbed, it is above the legal limit of 0.08%. Due to the state laws and the scientific nature of this argument it will be critical that you talk to a Minnesota drunk driving lawyer who can review the details of your case and determine if there is evidence that you were not actually legally intoxicated at the time you were driving but your BAC level only increased hours later after the test was submitted. Minnesota has statutes outlining how soon a test must be given from the time of driving. Under Minnesota DUI law, the BAC test must be given within 2 hours of operating your vehicle. Your Minnesota DUI attorney can review your case to determine if the test was administered according to the appropriate time constraints.

Will I lose my license after a Minnesota DUI arrest?

Minnesota does have implied consent laws which will impose a civil penalty against a driver who is operating their vehicle with a BAC above the legal limit of 0.08%. Even if you are not convicted of drunk driving in criminal court you can still lose your license if your BAC was above the legal limit at the time your BAC test was given or you refuse to submit to a BAC test. Consider, however, that the BAC test is not the same as the preliminary breath test, which you do have the right to refuse. The arresting officer should notify you of the right to refusal, but if there is evidence that you are intoxicated, the officer will most likely arrest you anyways and take you to the police station for the BAC test. If your BAC test is given within 2 hours of your DUI arrest and you have a BAC which is above the legal limit the court has some leeway to determine your penalties, but if you refuse the test you will automatically lose your license for one year through an administrative license suspension.
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