Do I Have To Identify Myself To Police If They Stop Me Under Suspicion Of Driving While Impaired?
So, you’ve been pulled over and the officer is approaching your car. What can you do now? Under the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, every person has the right to not answer questions by a government agent (e.g. have you been drinking? Where are you coming from? Where are you going?), and that is a right you should always exercise when dealing with law enforcement (although, unfortunately, this may make them suspicious). What this does not mean, however, is that you can refuse to give the officer your driver’s license and proof of insurance. If you are stopped by police in your car, you must provide these.
In most situations, you are not required to identify yourself to police in Minnesota unless they reasonably suspect you are involved in a crime. However, if you are pulled over for a traffic violation or under suspicion of drunk driving, the officer likely already has the requisite knowledge to demand your identification. Under these circumstances, refusing to identify yourself will likely get you arrested. If you truly believe the police officer had no reason to stop you, get a lawyer. You are not going to change the officer’s mind stopped on the shoulder of 94 at 2:00 a.m. and arguing may escalate the situation. Do not run away, interfere with, or obstruct the police, even if you believe what they are doing is unreasonable. It WILL result in your arrest and serious charges, regardless of whether you are ultimately charged with a DWI or not. Our recommendation is that you remain polite, cooperate (without divulging any incriminating information), and contact a lawyer after your encounter.