The sequence of events that lead to a drunk driving charge in Minnesota and around the country usually begin with a traffic stop. Police officers are not permitted to pull vehicles over for no reason, but they may initiate traffic stops if they see vehicles being driven recklessly or committing traffic violations such as speeding or changing lanes without signaling. Police officers sometimes believe that drivers are impaired by alcohol or drugs when they signal them to pull over, but they could also become suspicious after noticing indications of intoxication such as slurred speech, uncoordinated movements or bloodshot eyes.
Roadside sobriety tests
When police officers suspect that a driver is behind the wheel while intoxicated, they may ask them to take a breath test or perform a series of tasks that are difficult to complete while under the influence. Minnesota’s implied consent law requires motorists to provide a breath, blood or urine sample, but it does not require them to take a field sobriety test.
Drunk driving charges
When drivers fail to complete a standardized field sobriety test or a breath test indicates that they have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, they will usually be taken into custody and transported to a police station to be tested again with more sophisticated equipment. The results of this second test will then be used to determine whether or not drunk driving charges are warranted.
Remaining silent when questioned about alcohol intake or drug use
Motorists facing DUI charges often admit that they took drugs or consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. Experienced criminal defense attorneys could suggest not admitting guilt without getting something in return. Attorneys may also counsel drunk driving suspects to resist the urge to lie to the police about the amount of alcohol or drugs they consumed. This is because false statements could make it more difficult for attorneys to negotiate favorable terms during plea negotiations.