Minnesota Supreme Court Uphold Warrantless Blood Draws in DUI/Drunk Driving Cases When the Driver Gives Consent

by Steve Sumner, Attorney at Law
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CASE: Minnesota v Brooks (A11-1042, 1043; October 23, 2013)

FACTS:

This appeal arises out of three separate DUI/drunk driving arrest that all took place during a six month period from July 31, 2009 to January 25, 2010. All three incidents/arrests involved the defendant, Wesley Eugene Brooks.

A. First Arrest: On July 31, 2009, at approximately 2:00 a.m. in the morning the defendant was stopped after driving quickly away from a bar. The defendant, Wesley Eugene Brooks, refused to perform field sobriety tests until he could speak to his attorney, who happened to be a passenger in the vehicle. Brooks refused to perform any field sobriety tests. Brooks was then arrested for DUI/drunk driving. Brooks was then taken to the St. Francis Medical Center and read the Minnesota implied consent advisory. That advisory informs drivers that Minnesota law requires them to take a chemical test for the presence of alcohol (in a DUI/drunk driving arrest), that refusing to take the test is a crime and that the drivers have the right to talk to an attorney before deciding whether or not to take the test. A driver does have the right to speak with an attorney before deciding whether or not to take the test. Ultimately, Brooks agreed to provide a urine sample which revealed an alcohol concentration of .14, above the Minnesota legal limit in DUI/drunk driving cases of .08. The police did not attempt to secure a search warrant in connection with this arrest prior to Brooks providing the urine sample.

B. Second Arrest: Brooks was again arrested for DUI/drunk driving on January 16, 2010. The arresting officer read Brooks the Minnesota implied consent advisory form. Brooks called his attorney and agreed again to take a urine test; however, when taken to the restroom Brooks could not urinate. Brooks called his attorney after being asked whether or not he'd be willing to take a blood test; and after speaking with his attorney, Brooks agreed to give a blood sample. The alcohol concentration in Brooks' blood sample was .16. The police did not attempt to secure a search warrant in connection with this arrest.

C. Third Arrest: On June 25, 2010 Brooks was once again arrested for DUI/drunk driving after being found sleeping behind the wheel of his car. Brooks was unconscious in the driver's seat. The car was running and in gear, and Brooks had his foot on the brake. After this arrest, Brooks was again read his Minnesota implied consent advisory paperwork. Brooks spoke with his attorney on the phone and ultimately voluntarily gave a urine sample. The alcohol concentration in Brooks' urine sample from this arrest (the third arrest for DUI) was .16. Once again, the police did not attempt to secure a search warrant in connection with the January 25, 2010 arrest.

As to each of the three separate DUI arrests, Brooks moved to suppress the results of the blood and urine tests because the police had taken the samples without a search warrant.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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