Court upholds law on refusing breath test

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld a state law making it illegal for suspected drunk drivers to refuse a breath test.

The high court recently rejected a man’s claim that the law violated due process by preventing him from refusing an unconstitutional, warrantless search.

The case stemmed from the 2012 arrest of William Robert Bernard, whom witnesses identified as the driver of a truck that became stuck on a boat launch. Police said Bernard smelled of alcohol and acknowledged drinking but refused a chemical test after he was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.

Justices wrote that a search following a lawful arrest is a well-recognized exception to the requirement of a search warrant. They also wrote the law furthers the state’s ability to prosecute drunk drivers.