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DUI Defenses in Minnesota

Below are listed some of the affirmative defense that could be used in a DUI/DWI case

The impairment occurred after driving ceased

If the driver consumed enough alcohol after the time of the violation and before the taking the evidentiary test (within two hours time from the alleged violation), then the driver may use this defense to argue that the alcohol that caused their BAC to be over the legal limit was consumed after the alleged violation.  In effect, the defense is arguing that the alcohol consumed after driving caused the driver to fail the evidentiary test and therefore the prosecution cannot prove beyond the preponderance of the evidence that the driver committed a DUI offense.

Impairment from prescription drug

If the driver used their prescription drugs as prescribed, then the driver has an affirmative defense to avoid a conviction for a DUI/DWI.

Reasonable to refuse test

It is an affirmative defense for the driver to prove that at the time of refusal, the driver’s refusal to take the test was based on reasonable grounds.  This defense rebuts the implied consent law, and therefore, reasonable arguments may be that the police officer did not have probable cause or conducted a warrantless search of the vehicle.

Other defenses

The petitioner (driver) may argue that the results are inaccurate for some particular reason, for example, the testing method was invalid and unreliable or another legal substance, in the person’s body at the time, interfered with the test’s results.  Also, if the law enforcement officer did not inform the driver of their rights and the consequences of refusing the test at the time of requesting an evidentiary test, then the results are inadmissible.


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