Laws and penalties surrounding driving under the influence are hot topics in North Dakota during the past few months. Some questions about penalties for refusing to submit to a chemical test have come up again based on a new ND Supreme Court ruling.
Read more to see where North Dakota currently stands, and learn how we can help if you ever run into this kind of case.
Refusing a Chemical Test
Whether you knew it or not, you have the constitutional right to refuse to submit to a chemical test – but if you choose to do this, you will face criminal and administrative penalties. Some argue that by punishing someone for refusing to be tested removes a person’s right to refuse to be tested.
Criminal refusal statutes have continued to receive Fourth Amendment challenges, but the North Dakota Supreme has now held the criminal refusal statutes are valid and thus not a constitutional violation against unreasonable searches.
North Dakota’s Stance
Although the severity of punishment varies from state to state for refusing to submit to a chemical test, the North Dakota Supreme Court recently upheld criminal punishment against a man who refused to take a chemical test at a DUI traffic stop. The man claimed the chemical test was a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights – but the North Dakota Supreme Court disagreed and found the refusal/criminal punishment laws do not violate the constitution.
According to North Dakota Supreme Court Justice Lisa McEvers, “Driving is a privilege, not a constitutional right, and is subject to reasonable control by the state under its police power.” Although different states vary in their degree of punishment for refusing to submit to a chemical test, they often make the penalty of equal value to being convicted of drunk driving.
In summary, in many states (including Minnesota and North Dakota). Refusal to submit to chemical test is a crime and results in additional penalties.
We Can Help
If you, a family member, or a friend ever face DUI charges or penalties, keep in mind that we have expert attorneys who can help you understand your rights and help with your case. Contact one of us today so we can help.
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