Another court loss for MN man challenging DUI search rules

A Minnesota man who may have tested the state’s implied consent laws more often than any other driver charged with driving under the influence has lost again at the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

Under the law, authorities can force a person to submit to breath tests without a warrant by criminalizing their refusal to do so. But previous provisions for demanding blood or urine without a warrant have been struck down.

Wesley Eugene Brooks was stopped for DUI three times — in Shakopee, Minneapolis, and Prior Lake — between July 2009 and January 2010, agreeing to provide urine without a warrant twice, and blood without a warrant once, after he’d been told he could be charged with a more serious count of refusing.

He challenged the warrantless search and lost at the Minnesota Supreme Court in October 2013, which said he wasn’t coerced.

Last June, however, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down laws that punish drivers for refusing invasive tests — urine and blood draws — without a warrant.

So Brooks challenged the tests again and today, he lost — again — at the Minnesota Court of Appeals, which said last summer’s U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the constitutionality of the warrantless testing doesn’t apply to his case retroactively because it effectively created new rules of law after his conviction.

There’s a fair chance the case will end up before the Minnesota Supreme Court again. Last October, the court refused to reinstate charges against two men in separate DUI cases, citing the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. In her opinion on behalf of the three-judge panel today, Court of Appeals Judge Michelle Larkin said exceptions that made the Supreme Court decision apply retroactively in those cases do not apply in this one.