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What happens if you refuse a DWI test in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | Jul 10, 2023 | DWI Defense

In Minnesota refusing a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) test is considered a serious offense. The state’s implied consent law requires drivers to undergo chemical testing if they are lawfully arrested on suspicion of DWI. 

Refusing to take the test can result in immediate consequences. Learn more about what may happen if you refuse a DWI test in Minnesota here. 

Implied consent law and penalties

Minnesota’s implied consent law states that by operating a motor vehicle on the state’s roadways, you automatically consent to chemical testing to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or drug presence. Refusing the test can lead to administrative and criminal penalties.

Administrative penalties

Upon refusing a DWI test, your driver’s license can be revoked for at least one year. The revocation period can be longer if it’s your second or subsequent offense. Additionally, a refusal can lead to the immediate seizure of your vehicle; however, this depends on the situation.

Criminal penalties

Refusing a DWI test does not mean you will not face criminal charges. The prosecution can charge you with DWI based on other evidence, including officer observations, field sobriety tests or witness statements. If convicted, you may face fines, probation, mandatory alcohol education programs, community service or imprisonment.

Enhanced penalties

Minnesota has enhanced penalties for DWI offenders who refuse to take a test. The criminal penalties can be more severe if you have a prior DWI conviction within the past ten years or have a previous license revocation for test refusal. These enhanced penalties are in place to encourage repeat offenders and those who try to evade the testing process to avoid doing it again. 

Refusing a DWI test in Minnesota carries unpleasant legal consequences. Understanding the potential penalties can help you understand and protect your rights. 

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