Can I Legally Refuse to Take a Sobriety Test in Minnesota?


If you are pulled over as a suspect for driving while intoxicated (DWI), you may be asked to do a series of tests, otherwise known as field sobriety tests. These tests are used to determine if you are truly intoxicated. They test your physical and cognitive function. Though most people think about walking in a straight line, there are many other tests that police do to determine if you are able to think and react clearly.

However, the truth is that many sober people can fail these tests just as easily. By taking one of these tests and failing, you could be setting yourself up for a DWI charge even if you haven’t been drinking (or you are nowhere near the legal limit).

What Is the Law in Minnesota against Drinking and Driving

In Minnesota (unlike some other states), it is not illegal to drive when you have been drinking, unless you are underage. You can safely drive when you have had something to drink, as long as you are under the legal limit.

If you are over the limit, which is 0.08 percent, you are driving illegally, and you could be facing charges for a DWI.

When Can You Be Asked for a Field Sobriety Test

A police officer can’t ask you to perform any field sobriety tests unless they believe that you are over the legal limit. If they can’t prove that, they don’t have any reason to get you out of the car. If they do, you may have a reason to get your charges dropped completely.

So, Can I Refuse a Field Sobriety Test

The truth is that you aren’t required by law to undergo a field sobriety test.

In fact, if you don’t think that you have had enough to drink to be near the legal limit, you should refuse to do one. You could get yourself in more trouble by failing a field sobriety test.

What Happens If I Refuse Testing

When you refuse, the police have no choice but to arrest you. At that point, you will be required to a blood test for a chemical blood alcohol test.

Then What Happens

There are two scenarios that will play out once your blood alcohol level comes back.

  • Under. If you were under the legal limit, you won’t get in any trouble for refusing to take a field sobriety test. You will be able to go home and get back to your life.
  • Over. If you are over the legal limit, you are more likely to win your case without a field sobriety test because that is just more evidence needed to get you convicted of a DWI.

Can I Refuse a Chemical Blood Alcohol Test (Or a Breathalyzer)

If you refuse to get a blood or breath test, it is considered a crime in Minnesota. That being said, you do have the right to refuse it.

However, before you do so, you need to talk to your lawyer. He or she will advise you on the best course of action before you refuse to go through with testing. Your lawyer may advise you against refusal because you are already facing some serious charges.

Can I Refuse a Chemical Blood Alcohol Test (Or a Breathalyzer)

Anytime you are in any legal trouble, you need to talk to an experienced lawyer. He or she will help you through this difficult time by going through your options so that you can decide the best way to proceed. No matter what you decide, your lawyer will help you through the whole process so that you have the best chance of getting your charges dropped.

Contact us for all of your legal needs.