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I was pulled over last night for a DWI. At the scene I blew a .16

Minneapolis, MN |

The cops told me to call someone to pick me up from the scene, otherwise they were going to take me to jail.

I was able to get a hold of my girlfriend, who eventually came to the scene to pick me up.

The cops ended up parking my car at a nearby parking lot and told me that I can pick it up tomorrow when I sober up. My question is, since I was not taken to jail or given a citation of any sort, what happens now? Will I receive something through the mail stating that I am being charged for a DWI?

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Attorney answers 6


If police released you to a responsible party at the scene after submitting a Preliminary Breath Test sample that was positive for alcohol at .16%, then you are probably one of the luckiest persons I can think of. Provided the traffic stop was valid, failure of a 'properly' administered Preliminary Breath Test will typically provide valid probable cause to arrest for further testing - breath or blood - at the police station. Perhaps the stop occurred one minute before this officer's shift was about to end? Perhaps you had been exceptionally police and cooperative? Who knows? But it is unlikely that any prosecutor would try to file formal criminal DUI charges arising from a traffic stop and a Preliminary Breath Test with no further chemical testing. Curious.



Thank you so much Paul!! I am so relief to hear your answer. Best wishes!!


The facts you relate seem extremely unusual. As a result, much more would have to be known about your situation.

However, if you were not taken to the station, a mobile DWI unit or a medical center and asked to provide a breath, blood or urine test, chances are that it is your lucky day. Without a valid test for alcohol, it is unlikely charges can or will be filed. The preliminary breath test (PBT) given at the scene cannot be used in a trial for DWI and serves only to provide the officer potential probable cause for the offense.

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Thank you so much Maury! Your answer has given me much needed relief!! A good day to you!!


It sounds like you submitted to a blood or urine test. If so, the police and prosecutor often will wait to receive the results of the test before you get a court date. Usually, it takes the police and prosecutor 3 to 4 weeks to receive the results of a blood or urine test back from the crime lab. If the test result comes back over the legal limit, you eventually will be mailed a court date. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety would mail you a notice of license revocation, usually 4 to 8 weeks after the incident.

If you submitted to a DataMaster breath test at the police station and tested 0.08 or more, then you would have received a court date and notice of license revocation on the day of the incident.

The State cannot revoke one's driving privileges for DWI until there is a test result that is certified to be 0.08 or more, or a driver refuses the test. The preliminary breath test at the scene is not the official test to determine a license revocation or a DWI crime.

The result of a DataMaster breath test is available immediately but for obvious reasons, blood and urine tests are not.

A lawyer can help you find out the test within three to five weeks of the incident. Otherwise, you will have to wait for a court date or a letter revoking your license.

This answer is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. For legal advice specific to your circumstances, consult a licensed attorney confidentially in your state.


Before the state can administratively revoke your drivers license or charge you with a "0.08 or more" driving crime, they must have an evidentiary chemical test of 0.08 or more. Though the facts stated here to not explicitly say this is the case, the question seems to imply that police did not collect a sample for chemical testing or other wise get a chemical test result. A "preliminary breat test" or PBT is not an "evidentiary breath test" and alone cannot be used to administratively revoke your drivers license or charge you with a "0.08 or more" driving crime. A DWI crime can possibly be charged without an evidentiary chemical test, but this is quite rarely done.


You didn't say, but I will assume this is your first offense for the purpose of my answer. You should receive a few documents. One from the court, which will be a charging document either in the form of a citation or complaint. Secondly, if you have not already from the officer, you will receive both a Notice of Revocation and Order of License Plate Impoundment from the Department of Public Safety.


Yes, you may be charged by a Summons, which you would receive in the mail. This will give you a date to show up in court for your first appearance. It would be wise to at least consult with an attorney now, so you are prepared in case you are charged with DWI.

I hope you find this information helpful and feel free to contact me if you would like to further discuss your case. I wish you the best of luck.

John J. Carney

John J. Carney


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