Here's a factoid you can use at your next dinner party, courtesy of the Minnesota Court of Appeals:
"The alcohol concentration of urine in the bladder can decrease from .081 to .079 in 15 minutes."
This would be an important fact if you were, say, stopped for drunk driving and your blood alcohol level was barely over the standard by which Minnesota defines drunk driving.
In a ruling today, the Minnesota Court of Appeals provided quite an analysis of the biological method by which the body disposes of its alcohol, ruling that police can require a urine sample from suspected drunk drivers without needing a warrant to do so.
The Court ruled in the case of Kim Ellingson, who was charged with drunk driving after a breathalyzer showed her blood alcohol level was .09. In Minnesota, .08 is legally drunk. A subsequent urinalysis showed she was, indeed, drunk.
She lost her license but sued because the collection of her urine was an unreasonable search and seizure. The Court disagreed, saying, "... the rapid change in alcohol concentration through the body's natural processes... justify the warrantless collection of a urine sample."
It is the same logic that say police can break down a door if they think an exigent circumstance exist.
I'm no lawyer but I would guess this one will go back and forth a few more times.
I hate it when the courts get it right for all the wrong reasons... (and maybe there is more to the court brief then posted here.)
Implied consent laws in Minnesota mean that any one operating a motor vehicle in Minnesota has already given consent to have a breathalyzer done, and either a blood or Urine test done.
Warrants don't matter when you've already agreed to it simply by having a drivers license.
I'm guessing we'll hear about nervous drivers voiding their bladders *before* getting pulled over now.
I don't know how true the story is, but I've heard of people who have a bottle of water to spill on their crotch area when the cherries light up behind them.
The idea being when the officer asks "why are you are in such a hurry?" they can answer looking down at their moistened pants and say "I'm not any more."