Experienced and Respected Minnesota DUI Attorney Speaks Out on Two Recent Court Decisions

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Experienced and respected Minnesota DUI Attorney Douglas Kans speaks out regarding two recent DWI related decisions.

Minnesota DUI law had a flurry of activity in recent weeks with major decisions being handed down concerning warrantless blood draws and the source code for the Intoxilyzer breathalyzer machine. Douglas Kans, an experienced Minnesota DUI attorney recently spoke out regarding these decisions.

"Two important Minnesota court cases regarding the Implied Consent Law were decided in the past several months," Douglas Kans explains. "Minnesota's Implied Consent Law states that every time you drive, operate or are in physical control of a motor vehicle on the roadways, lakes and waterways within the state of Minnesota, you consent to a chemical test of your blood urine or breath by law enforcement to determine the presence of alcohol, a controlled substance or a hazardous substance in your body.

"Shriner (State v. Shriner 751 NW 2d 538), who drove into the wrong lane of traffic and struck another vehicle head-on, was the first of the cases involving Implied Consent Law. This defendant showed signs of intoxication at the scene and the officer had her blood drawn at hospital to determine her blood alcohol level. In court, Shriner challenged the fact that the officer had neither obtained a warrant to take a blood sample from her, nor read her the implied consent advisory, nor obtained her consent. Although the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court's decision in favor of the defendant Shriner, the Minnesota Supreme Court reversed the Appellate Court decision and ruled that Shriner's blood test results were admissible and her DWI charges would stand."

Mr. Kans goes on to discuss the next Minnesota DUI case that has had much media attention surrounding it as it involved the defendant Underdahl's (State v. Underdahl 749 NW 2d 117) motion to discover the source code of the Intoxilyzer machine that is used in Minnesota to determine the blood alcohol concentration in an individual's breath sample. "In this case, Underdahl argued that if he had the code, he could determine whether the machine was reliable and therefore whether his test results were legitimate. The District Court ordered the State to produce the code. However, the Appellate Court ruled that unless a defendant shows that the source code is relevant, the code is not discoverable."

According to Mr. Kans, these two cases do have implications for anyone facing Minnesota DUI charges. "The media made it sound like discovering the source code for the breathalyzer machine was going to be a golden cure for those facing DUI charges. Yet, the Courts have been very clear that is will difficult to prove that the code is relevant to your case," Kans explains. "The Shriner case is helpful if you are facing charges other than criminal vehicular homicide or operation because a challenge could be made that you must either consent or give or be served a valid search warrant for a sample of your blood, urine or breath."

Overall, Mr. Kans concludes that the recent rulings in Minnesota DUI cases are all very fact specific and apply only in certain circumstances. "I believe that these are the types of rulings we will be seeing more of in the future, a sort of ad hoc web of judicial interpretation of legislative intent, woven one situation at a time."

About KANS LAW FIRM

For fourteen years, Mr. Kans has dedicated himself solely to defending individuals charged with crimes. Over this period, he has earned the respect of fellow colleagues, prosecutors, and Judges throughout the State of Minnesota. Mr. Kans has successfully litigated and negotiated hundreds of criminal cases during his career. He has had many proud achievements, but none is as important as the personal satisfaction he receives from working hard and achieving wonderful results for his clients.

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