Minnesota Statute 169A.20 Defines Gross Misdemeanor Refusal to Submit to a Chemical test
Subd. 2. Refusal to submit to chemical test crime.

“It is a crime for any person to refuse to submit to a chemical test of the person’s blood, breath, or urine under section 169A.51 (chemical tests for intoxication), or 169A.52 (test refusal or failure; revocation of license).”

There are currently cases before the Supreme Court to determine whether this provision of the Minnesota DWI statute is constitutional. Importantly, you can be charged with a gross misdemeanor for refusing to a chemical test. This carries a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $3000 fine. There are many requirements that the police must satisfy to charge you with this crime, and current case law may help you in the case of a refusal of a blood or urine test.

In addition to any criminal case, there will be driver’s license implications to any DWI. It is important for you to know that you only have 30 days to challenge any license implications in Court. From the time you are pulled over, the clock is ticking, and it is important for you to talk to a lawyer.

There are ways to successfully challenge a charge of DWI and to challenge the driver’s license suspension or revocation. One way is challenging the “stop” itself. For example, if the police officer says you were speeding and you do not believe you were, you could contest the stop and have the case dismissed, including the license revocation or suspension. Another way to challenge the charge and/or the revocation is to challenge the test itself.

Another important fact about Minnesota DWI is that it is an enhanceable crime. This means that each subsequent DWI will be more serious, and each subsequent license revocation or suspension will be more serious also.

This is a serious charge with serious implications.


“It is important to take these types of charges seriously, because they can affect both your home and your working life. If you plead guilty, you may later regret it. Contact me today to discuss your options, and possible defenses. Give yourself a chance to fight these charges and not have them follow you around for years, or for the rest of your life.”

Elliott Nickell


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