If you have been arrested on suspicion of DWI in Minnesota and have submitted to a blood, breath or urine test at the request of law enforcement, then you have a statutory right to obtain an additional, independent test. If law enforcement denies you this right, then the results of their test may be suppressed.
This statutory right to an additional test includes the right to have someone of your choice administer a chemical test that is independent of test samples collected by law enforcement, so long as the additional test sample is obtained at the place where the person is in custody, after the test administered at the direction of a peace officer, and at no expense to the state. If an officer prevents an individual from obtaining an independent test, then the results of the state’s test may be suppressed if the issue is properly raised by a defense lawyer and successfully argued at a hearing. However, the simple failure or inability of a suspect to obtain an additional test does not preclude the admission into evidence of the test taken at the direction of a peace officer.
Officers are not required to inform suspects of the right to an additional test. If a suspect makes a request for an additional test, the only obligation an officer has in assisting the suspect in obtaining that additional test is to allow the suspect the opportunity to use a telephone to attempt to contact a third party to perform the test. But, if the officer otherwise hinders or hampers the defendant’s efforts to obtain an independent test in any way, then the state’s test results should be suppressed.
An additional test will likely cost you a few hundred dollars, but could be helpful in verifying the accuracy of the test taken by law enforcement. Because evidence of alcohol in the blood stream dissipates over time, it is best to obtain an additional test as soon as possible in order to insure the most accurate results.
If you or someone you know has been charged with DWI or a crime of any type, call Minneapolis – St. Paul criminal defense attorney John J. Leunig for a free phone consultation at (952) 540-6800.