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Stearns County Prosecutors Changing DWI Traffic Stop Procedures

08/16/2013 - 9:40 AM

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ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) - Stearns County is poised to become the first in Minnesota to require police to obtain a search warrant before taking blood samples from suspected drunken drivers who refuse chemical tests.

The St. Cloud Times reports the change follows a U.S. Supreme Court decision that's thrown DWI prosecution into a state of uncertainty. The decision has led most Stearns County judges to throw out at least one DWI case on the basis that the state's implied consent advisory is unconstitutional. So Stearns County prosecutors have changed traffic stop procedures.

If a driver refuses to voluntarily submit to a chemical test, the arresting officer or deputy will seek a search warrant for a blood sample. Local judges will be handling DWI warrant requests via fax from home outside of business hours.

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