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What Are The Penalties For Refusing a Breath Or Blood Test?


Refusal is considered a gross misdemeanor. Minnesota law has three categories concerning breath or blood testing. A misdemeanor is a bottom level, the low-level offenses. Gross misdemeanors are mid-level offenses, and the felonies are top-level offenses. A refusal with no other aggravating factors is a gross misdemeanor. There are certain situations where it could be higher. The maximum penalties for a gross misdemeanor are up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

Is The Evidentiary Breath Test Conducted At The Station Different From The Roadside Breath Test?

Yes, the portable breath test on the side of the road is not considered evidence that cannot be used in court in most situations. The one that they ask you to do at the station is evidence, and that’s the one that if you refuse, gets you in trouble.

Can Someone Consult with An Attorney Before Making A Decision On a Chemical Test?

Before they ask you to take any test, they will read you what’s called the Minnesota Motor Vehicle Implied Consent Advisory. That explains that they believe you have been driving under the influence and that Minnesota law requires you to take a breath test. However, you do have the right to consult with an attorney before making that decision, if you refuse the breath test after you have been pulled over on a traffic stop, it can be a criminal offense. They give you an opportunity to contact a lawyer. Most police departments will have phonebooks with lawyers’ numbers for you to call. You have some time to make some calls until you speak with someone. They give you about 20 minutes or so to do that before they again ask you if you’d like to take the test.

At that point, you do have to make a decision whether you’ve called someone or not.

What Are Some Factors That Might Enhance Or Aggravate DUI Charges?

Aggravating factors would be whether you’ve had a prior DWI within the last ten years, and your blood alcohol content was a 0.16% or greater. You are going to have an enhanced factor charge, so that could move you quickly from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor. If you have a child in the car, it would be an enhanced factor, and then if you are beyond a 0.20%, that’s a significant factor as well, not necessarily because it changes the criminal penalty, but because it changes the amount of the fine that a judge can assess you.

What Are The Penalties Associated With A DUI Conviction In Minnesota?

For the first time offense, assuming it’s a misdemeanor, and a relatively low alcohol reading of a 0.08% to 0.15% range, you are looking at having a misdemeanor conviction on your record, and up to 90 days in jail with fines up to $1,000. Also, if you are placed on probation, you are going to have to complete a chemical dependency evaluation and follow any treatment recommendations. For a second offense, you still have the same treatment recommendations most likely, but the penalties become gross misdemeanor penalties of up to a year in jail and up to $3,000 fines.

The third one has the same penalty as the second offense. There are mandatory jail sentences that come with the second and third offenses. Those range between 30 and 90 days in custody and depending on what is the offense level you are facing. If you are on your fourth offense within a ten-year period, that’s a felony in Minnesota, and that can carry up to a seven-year prison sentence. At a minimum, it’s six months in jail, but it can easily carry a prison sentence of having the fourth within ten years. Some felony DWIs carry a mandatory term of imprisonment.

For more information on Chemical Test Refusals In Minnesota, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (651) 314-9620 today.

Jennifer Congdon, Esq.

Call For A Free Consultation (651) 314-9620

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