BREATH TEST/SOURCE CODE UPDATE JULY 2011

If you were arrested for DWI/DUI in Minnesota sometime between 2007 and 2011 and you took the Intoxilyzer (breath) test, odds are we filed a Source Code challenge for you. Many cases were consolidated statewide to a district court judge. His task was to decide whether the Intoxilyzer results were admissible in evidence. For the most part, he decided that the results were admissible. That decision was appealed by the Source Code Coalition, both for Implied Consent and Criminal cases. The Minnesota Supreme Court granted special review, bypassing the Court of Appeals. The idea is to get one, final answer with judicial economy, while balancing the rights of each individual.

At the same time that the Coalition appealed the decision, the district court judge did not "stay" his decision, meaning he left it to each individual case as to how to proceed. Some counties, like Ramsey County, decided that because the order was not "stayed," each case had to continue through the court system. I do not agree with that, nor do I believe that it is an efficient way of dealing with the issue since the issue is going to ultimately be decided by the Minnesota Supreme Court anyway. Still, many people were getting ordered back to court by judges, saying they had to continue litigating their cases despite the pending appeal.

Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court issued an Order, staying (putting on hold) any district court Implied Consent cases that have an Intoxilyzer test involved. The Court also stayed all criminal source code cases that were either part of the original consolidation, or where the lawyers signed a "consent to be bound" (which is most cases). What that means is that the district court cases can no longer move forward until the Minnesota Supreme Court makes a ruling on the admissibility of the Intoxilyzer tests. What that means for YOU is that if your lawyer filed a source code challenge, your DWI case may be on hold until the Supreme Court reaches a decision. Stay tuned for more updates.