If you have been arrested for a Minnesota DWI offense, it is certainly cause for concern—but not despair. All hope is not lost. Here are 30 ways our skilled Minnesota drunk driving defense attorneys may be able to win your case:
- FAILURE TO MIRANDIZE – Prosecutors may not use as evidence the statements of a defendant in custody for a DWI when the police have failed to properly issue Miranda Warnings.
- ILLEGAL STOP OF PERSON OR VEHICLE – A driver cannot be stopped unless the officer has a reasonable basis to believe that a law has been violated. Similarly, a person cannot be seized unless a violation has occurred.
- MISLEADING STATEMENTS BY POLICE OFFICERS – Any misleading statement by the police regarding the consequences of taking (or refusing) a blood, breath, or urine test will cause the suspension to be reversed and removed from the driver’s record.
- ILLEGAL SEARCH – The police are prohibited from searching a person or automobile for a minor traffic offense, and may not search a car without a driver’s consent or probable cause. Any evidence illegally obtained is not admissible in court.
- PRIOR INCONSISTENT STATEMENTS BY POLICE OFFICERS – Any statement made by a police officer verbally, in police reports, or at previous court proceedings may be used to attack that officer’s credibility.
- OFFICER’S PRIOR DISCIPLINARY RECORD – A police officer’s previous disciplinary record can be used to attack the officer’s credibility.
- FAILURE TO CONDUCT OBSERVATION PERIOD – Most states require that a driver be observed continuously for a minimum period prior to a breath test in order for the results to be considered admissible and valid.
- BOOKING ROOM & IN-SQUAD VIDEOS – Many police stations and squad cars videotape DWI suspects, where their speech is clear and their balance is perfect, in spite of police testimony to the contrary.
- STANDARD FIELD SOBRIETY TESTING IS INACCURATE – In healthy individuals, the one-leg stand test and the walk-and-turn test are only moderately accurate in determining if a person is under the influence. In many circumstances, physical issues can impair the validity of the tests.
- NON-STANDARDIZED FIELD TESTS ARE INVALID – Neither the federal government (NHTSA), nor medical science considers touching your finger to your nose, saying the alphabet, or counting backwards as valid sobriety tests.
- BREATH TESTING IS INACCURATE – Virtually all experts concede that one breath test alone is unreliable. Breath testing is subject to various inaccuracies.
- POLICE BLOOD TEST INACCURATE – Many times police blood testing fails to follow prescribed rules of testing, analysis, or preservation recommendations.
- HOSPITAL BLOOD TEST INACCURATE – Hospital blood tests overestimate a person’s true level by as much as 25% in healthy, uninjured individuals, and are not statistically reliable in severely injured persons.
- BREATH TEST OPERATOR UNLICENSED – Most states require a Breath Test Operator to possess a valid, unexpired operator’s license, or the breath test result is inadmissible.
- BREATHALYZER MACHINE MALFUNCTIONS – Most states specify that if there is a malfunction or repair of the breath test instrument within a certain period of time before or after a suspect’s breath test, the results of the suspect’s test may be deemed invalid.
- BREATH TEST DEVICE NOT APPROVED – A breath-testing instrument must be listed on the Federal List of Approved Breath Evidential Instruments and the ISP approved list of Devices for the results to be admissible.
- FIELD SOBRIETY TEST IMPROPERLY ADMINISTERED – According to the NHTSA, improperly administered field tests are not valid evidence of intoxication.
- PORTABLE BREATH TEST IMPROPERLY ADMINISTERED – The manufacturers of portable breath testing devices require a minimum of two tests to consider the results evidential in nature.
- FORCED BLOOD DRAWS – In Minnesota, the police may not take a blood test against the driver’s consent where there has not been an injury.
- INTERFERING SUBSTANCES – Many items contain forms of alcohol which may cause false results such as asthma spray, cough drops, paints, and fingernail polish. These items can cause the breath results to be invalid.
- BREATH MACHINE NOT PROPERLY OPERATED – The manufacturers of breath testing devices have specified protocols that must be followed for a breath result to be valid. Failure to follow these requirements will result in improper readings.
- MEDICAL AND HEALTH PROBLEMS – Medical problems with legs, arms, neck, back, and eyes can affect the results of field sobriety tests.
- FAILURE TO RECORD CERTIFICATION TESTS – Failure to include the value of the simulator solution used to test breath machines will cause the breath test results to be inadmissible in court against the driver.
Responsibilities of The Court & Prosecution:
- FAILURE TO PROVIDE SPEEDY TRIAL – If a client is not provided a trial within a certain period of time through delays of the court or prosecutor, the charges must be dismissed.
- FAILURE TO PROVE DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE – A defendant’s admission to driving under the influence does not, by itself, prove a charge of DWI.
- FAILURE TO DISCLOSE EXPERTS – The failure of the prosecutor to disclose the state’s expert(s) will cause those witnesses to be barred from testifying against the defendant.
- POST-DRIVING ABSORPTION OF ALCOHOL – The prosecutor must prove the blood or breath alcohol content at the time of driving. Consumption of alcohol just prior to driving will cause the test results to be higher than what the true level was when the person was operating the automobile.
Other Minnesota DWI Defenses:
- WEAVING INSIDE THE LANES IS NOT ILLEGAL – Weaving without crossing any lines is not a violation of the law, and a vehicle cannot be stopped for that reason alone.
- ANONYMOUS REPORT OF DRUNK DRIVING – A car cannot be stopped simply because an anonymous citizen reported that the driver might be drunk.
- INDEPENDENT WITNESSES – Oftentimes independent witnesses to accidents, bartenders, hospital personnel, and others can provide crucial evidence of the defendant’s sobriety.
- EXPERT WITNESSES – Expert witnesses are available to review the validity of breath, blood, and field sobriety tests.
- BAD WEATHER – Weather reports establishing high winds, low visibility, and other conditions are available to explain poor driving or poor balance.
Also, check out our slideshow on How To Pass A Breathalyzer: