Urine Test for Alcohol DWI is Scientifically Invalid
Not only that, Minnesota tells its law enforcement officers (“LEOs”) to collect samples in a scientifically invalid way. The few states that still allow urine tests, at least require a “second void” sample. A second void sample reduces the problem of “urine pooling.”
What is “urine pooling?”
No, it’s not a reference to kids and swimming pools.
Imagine a person drinks five alcohol beverages over several hours. Then he stops for a few hours before driving. Isn’t that what we want people to do? Sober up before driving?
Well, imagine a police officer stops him for expired tabs. Then she smells the odor of an alcohol. Minnesota police get a “first void” urine sample. By then the person would have a blood test result of well below 0.04 BAC. But the urine test shows 0.08.
How could it be? If the person didn’t urinate during this entire period, most of the consumed alcohol would still be in his bladder. So, his urine will have a much higher alcohol concentration than his blood.
Why does that matter? Alcohol in the blood correlates with impaired driving. But alcohol in the urine does not. Urine does not reflect recent use, or current blood alcohol level.
Convictions of sober drivers: urine test
A law with a flaw: Yet Minnesota laws say it’s irrelevant that his blood alcohol level was 0.04. If his urine alcohol level was 0.08, the law makes that a per se DWI crime. Combine that with Minnesota law that lack of impairment is legally irrelevant to 0.08 charge, and you have injustice squared. After all, alcohol in urine had no ability to impair; only alcohol in the blood does.
So completely sober people, not driving impaired, can be convicted of DWI in Minnesota, on a technicality.
Welcome to DWI enforcement and prosecution in Minnesota. Enforcement expediency triumphs over justice and fairness.
Other issues with urine test
“Additional Test” Right
Minnesota Statutes specifically require police to allow a person to get an additional chemical test.
But this is after, providing the police their urine, blood or breath sample. And this statutory right reflects your Constitutional Right to preserve exculpatory evidence. You need to know about this right, because police will not tell you about it.
Because urine alcohol tests are so wildly inaccurate, you should always get an Additional Test.
Ask police for the phone to call someone to come to the jail to collect a blood sample. If police release you, immediately go get a blood draw for an Additional Test (emergency room, etc.) Delay reduces evidentiary value of any chemical test for alcohol.
Always ask to call a DWI lawyer before giving a sample for chemical testing.
“Alternative” Test Right
A prosecutor cannot charge a driver with test “refusal” after a request for a urine test; unless the police offered a blood test alternative. Some people can’t urinate in front of another person. You can request a blood test instead.
And ask to call a DWI attorney before giving any sample.
Fermentation & preservative: urine test
Urine alcohol test kits have preservative already in the container, before adding the urine sample. Or it should have.
But if it does not, the urine’s sugar will ferment, creating alcohol that was never there in the first place. The burden is on the state to prove fair and accurate testing procedures.
Chain of custody
What if police or a lab confuse your sample with someone else’s? Lucky for someone; bad for you. The state must show evidence of a continuous chain of custody. They must prove every link in the chain, from the sample, to the lab analysis, to the courtroom.
Defending Minnesota DWI charges
You need serious legal expertise.
And you can get it, from DWI Defense Attorney Thomas Gallagher. He can help you fight back against this unfair, unjust web of laws and scientifically flawed evidence.