Rebecca J. Wall, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff - Appellant
Richard W. Stanek, in his official capacity only, Defendant - Appellee
Submitted May 14, 2015.
Appeal from United States District Court for the District of Minnesota - Minneapolis.
For Rebecca J. Wall, individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff - Appellant: A. L. Brown, Capitol City Law Group, Saint Paul, MN; Andrew L. Davick, Meshbesher & Spence, Rochester, MN; Anthony James Nemo, Meshbesher & Spence, Minneapolis, MN.
For Richard W. Stanek, in his official capacity only, Defendant - Appellee: Toni Ann Beitz, Paul Robert Hannah, Hennepin County Attorney's Office, Minneapolis, MN.
Before RILEY, Chief Judge, BRIGHT and MURPHY, Circuit Judges.
RILEY, Chief Judge.
This case requires us to rule upon the validity of a suspected impaired driver's consent to a blood-alcohol test when the driver was correctly informed beforehand that it is a crime to refuse the test. Having agreed to a blood-alcohol test under these circumstances, Rebecca Wall now brings a 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action against Hennepin County Sheriff Richard Stanek in his official capacity (county), alleging the county had a policy or practice of conducting warrantless, nonconsensual blood-alcohol tests, which violated Wall's Fourth Amendment rights. The district court disagreed, finding no constitutional violation and no county liability under Monell v. Department of Social Services, 436 U.S. 658, 98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). Wall appeals, and we affirm.
At approximately 1:00 a.m. on June 20, 2011, Hennepin County Sheriff's Deputy Barbara Russeth stopped Wall for a traffic violation. Upon her exiting the vehicle, Wall smelled of alcohol, exhibited poor balance, failed multiple field sobriety tests, and in a preliminary breath test, she produced a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .109--beyond the .08 legal threshold, see Minn. Stat. § 169A.20, subd. 1(5). Based on these results, Deputy Russeth arrested Wall and arranged for her car to be towed.
At around 1:40 a.m., they arrived at patrol headquarters, where Deputy Russeth sought Wall's consent to conduct a urine or blood test to determine Wall's BAC. In compliance with Minnesota's Implied Consent Law, see Minn. Stat. § 169A.51, subd. 2, Deputy Russeth read aloud the state's " implied consent advisory," informing Wall that (1) she was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired, (2) " Minnesota law require[d her] to take a test" of alcohol content, (3) " [r]efusal to take a test [wa]s a crime," and (4) " [b]efore making [he]r decision about testing, [she] ha[d] the right to consult with an attorney." Affirming her understanding of her rights and disclaiming her right to consult an attorney, Wall agreed to a urinalysis.
After about forty-five minutes, Wall had not produced a urine sample, so Deputy Russeth transported Wall to the Hennepin County Medical Center where Wall agreed, at 2:58 a.m., to a blood analysis. Deputy Russeth then instructed a registered nurse to draw a blood sample. Analysis of the sample indicated a BAC of .06. Wall ...