In 2017, the DWI Task Force successfully lobbied for the passage for HF 2364 and SF 2375, which passed in Chapter 83. This bill was proposed in direct response to the United States Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota, which held that a search warrant is needed to collect blood or urine samples in a DWI case, but is not needed to collect a breath sample. The DWI Task Force collaborated with the Minnesota State Bar Association - Criminal Law Section, and the bill was strongly supported by the Minnesota County Attorney's Association, Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association, Minnesota Sheriff's Association, Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Minnesotans for Safe Driving, and various law enforcement agencies. The provisions of the bill were also supported by the Minnesota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Perhaps this strong support is the reason why the bills in the House and the Senate both passed unanimously! The provisions of the new law proposed by the DWI Task Force are:
*Amended Minnesota's implied consent laws, 169A.51-53, to only reference breath tests, which is consistent with the Birchfield decision
*Criminalized refusal to comply with the execution of a search warrant, which is consistent with the refusal laws for breath test cases but codified under proper constitutional authority:
*Provides for the revocation of an offender's driver's license for a failed test or refusal to comply with a search warrant, which is consistent with the consequences in a breath test case
*Extended the amount of time an offender has to challenge a license revocation from 30 to 60 days
*Allows for a prescription drug affirmative defense in license revocation hearings
Here is a link to a final engrossment of the bill.
The DWI Task Force is now in the process of discussing possible legislative initiatives for next year's session.
MINNESOTA'S DWI TASK FORCE: WORKING TO INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY ON OUR ROADS