So You’ve Been Stopped For A DWI or DUI. What Happens Now?
What happens depends on a variety of things. For example, whether you have any prior DWIs, DUIs or whether your driver’s license was revoked due to alcohol consumption and this in the last 10 years. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) will also be a factor, as will the fact that you refused to take the BAC test. Lastly, your attitude towards law enforcement, whether or not children were in the vehicle at the time of your arrest, and whether or not anyone was injured due to your being intoxicated while driving.
In most cases, here is what will happen:
- The police officer will get you to stop your vehicle on the side of the road.
- You will be asked to step out of the vehicle
- You will be asked to perform a “standardized field sobriety test”
- You will be given a preliminary breath testing device (PBT). This is also known as a breathalyzer, a small black box you will be asked to blow into that measures the alcohol level that is in your system. The PBT uses a chemical / electrical gauge (also referred to as a fuel cell), which will determine your blood alcohol level. The law enforcement officer will place you under arrest if your blood alcohol level is over 0.08 in the state of Minnesota. It is important to understand that this test is generally not admissible in court and only serves to enable the police officer to place you under arrest with probable cause for driving while impaired.
- The law enforcement officer will then take you either to the hospital for a blood draw or to the police station for a urine or breath test. Most people do not know that in every case, law enforcement is obliged to allow you to speak with a DWI or DUI attorney before you take any test, whether it is a blood alcohol, breath or urine test. Remember that the test may be suppressed in court in the event that the police officer does not allow you to consult with the attorney of your choice, as long as you are actively trying and asking to speak with your attorney. Law enforcement preventing you from getting in touch with your attorney makes a conviction for a DWI much more difficult for the prosecutor.
- Once you’ve taken the test, one of several things might happen. You may be released to a sober adult, sent to a detoxification center, or the police may request that you be kept in jail until your first appearance in court. Once in court, bail and release conditions will be set by the judge. In any case, you retain the right to take an alternative test administered by a person of your choosing, even if you are in jail.
If you have been arrested for a DWI or a DUI and are in need of legal advice, call the Kohlmeyer Hagen Law Office without delay at (507) 625-5000.
Trust our knowledgeable, experienced team of attorneys to give you the best advice and get you on your way so you can put this unfortunate experience behind you and move forward with confidence.