MN Supreme Court Rules on Bernard Case

The Minnesota Supreme Court has decided that an individual who refuses to take a breath test when given the Implied Consent Advisory can be prosecuted. The state’s highest court ruled that the law does not violate the Fourth Amendment because a warrantless search of the breath is constitutional as a search incident to a valid arrest and that the refusal statute does not violate due process because it is an acceptable way to receive consent in order to uphold public safety. The case originated in Dakota County with the 2012 arrest of William Bernard who refused to take a chemical test after police suspected him of drunken driving. The decision reinforces the constitutionality of Minnesotas DWI laws and helps facilitate the state’s ability to prosecute drunken drivers. Hastings Police Chief Bryan Schafer comments on the decision.

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