City attorney honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving

Jennifer Saunders, City Attorney’s Office, was one of the individuals recently honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving with a nomination for Metro Area Prosecutor of the Year. Saunders’ nomination stems from her work on a case that challenged the scientific validity of one of the State’s three DWI testing procedures. 

The issue in the case that Saunders worked on was whether first-void urine testing is reliable because alcohol can build up in the bladder even after it dissipates from the bloodstream. In February, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed DWI (driving while under the influence) urine testing procedures. According to the Supreme Court, the State can prove alcohol concentration using any of three tests: blood, urine or breath, and Minnesota law does not require that a urine test reflect a person’s blood alcohol concentration for a DWI conviction. 

Saunders successfully argued the State’s position to both the Minnesota Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Supreme Court, affecting DWI prosecution throughout Minnesota. Saunders’ written brief and oral argument before the Minnesota Supreme Court (and 250 law students at William Mitchell College of Law) resulted in a unanimous decision from the court in the State’s favor.

 

Published Mar. 14, 2012