In an opinion released on October 13, 2016, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued a ruling on warrantless urine tests in the context of driving while impaired cases. In State v. Thompson, the Minnesota Supreme Court used the Supreme Court of the United States’ recent Birchfield v. North Dakota opinion to conclude that a warrantless urine test does not fall within the search-incident-to-arrest exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.
What this means for Minnesota drivers is that refusal of a warrantless urine test is legal. Unless there is another exception to the warrant requirement such as exigent circumstances or the driver consents, police officers will now have to get a search warrant in order to take a blood sample or urine sample. If you are arrested by the police for driving while impaired, call an experienced attorney before you consent to any test. If you’re arrested, you’ll be given an opportunity to contact an attorney, discuss your opinions, and get informed about your rights before taking any tests. Contact Barragry Law to learn your rights.