Criminal DWI Test Refusal Laws: Ineffective and Unconstitutional

Posted On April 23, 2009 by Charles Ramsay

"Consent or Jail!" is the threat behind Minnesota's criminal DWI test refusal law.

Under the law - Minnesota Statute section 169A.20, subd. 2 - it is a crime for a person who decides not to waive their constitutional right,against warrantless search and seizure, when asked by a police officer to take an alcohol test. What about the fourth and fifth amendments?

I presented this issue to the Minnesota Supreme Court which granted my request for review in State v. Netland, but dodged the question when it ruled in February. The issue remains unsettled. Watch the oral argument before the Supreme Court.

I say to the government, if you want blood, GET A WARRANT! Don't put people in jail for standing mute.


In a growing trend, Minnesota is one of 15 states to criminalize DWI according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Yet, there is nothing to support the efficacy of the unconstitutional law. Data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety shows no change in alcohol related deaths since the law went into effect in the early 1990s.

Now Louisiana's governor wants to pass the same law. I say to its citizens: Don't do it.