Stearns County goes back on DWI warrant policy after court ruling


Following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in April that would require police to obtain a warrant before subjecting a suspected drunk driver to a blood test, Stearns County implemented a policy following suit.

The St. Cloud Times reports the county rescinded the new rule following Minnesota's Supreme Court decision Wednesday that upheld the state's implied consent law.

The state Supreme Court ruling stems from a case involving 40-year-old Wesley Eugene Brooks of Prior Lake, who was stopped by police three times for DWI and consented to blood-alcohol testing, but later argued he was coerced.

During each arrest, Brooks was read the implied consent advisory, which states that refusal to take a chemical test for the presence of alcohol is a crime.

Brooks' attorney argued that taking a driver's blood, breath or urine without consent is a violation of drivers' constitutional rights.

However, the state Supreme Court said since Brooks consented to testing, a search warrant was not needed. The high court also ruled that the implied consent advisory is not unconstitutionally coercive.

With that, it's back to business as usual in Stearns County, where law enforcement will read the advisory during DWI stops and charge suspected drunk drivers if they refuse a test.

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