DWI Urine Alcohol Testing Case Set for Oral Argument

Posted On September 20, 2011 by Daniel Koewler

The Minnesota Supreme Court has set State v. Tanksley for oral argument on October 5, 2011 at William Mitchell College of Law.

The issue in the case is whether the trial court erred by denying the driver the right to have a so-called Frye-Mack hearing, to determine whether the scientific community recognizes urine alcohol testing as generally reliable in DWI cases.

Minnesota appears to be the only jurisdiction in the country that routinely uses random sample first void urine testing to determine a specific level of alcohol concentration. Government agencies such as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and quasi-government agencies such as National Safety Council, Subcommittee on Alcohol and Other Drugs do not recommend urine testing for such purposes.

Our firm has pioneered this challenge in DWI cases and will be following this case closely. In fact, several of our clients' cases have been accepted by the Minnesota Supreme Court for review, but have been stayed pending the outcome of Tanksley.

You can bet we'll be following this closely and will post an update immediately after the arguments early next month.