According to several news accounts in the last week, a Minnesota student group is working to end “legislative immunity from drunk driving arrests.” Apparently someone believes that Minnesota state legislators are immune from arrest for DWI based on Article IV, section 10, of the Minnesota Constitution, which provides that “members of each house in all cases except treason, felony and breach of the peace, shall be privileged from arrest during the session of their respective houses and in going to or returning from the same.”
This language is nearly identical to the Arrest Clause in the U.S. Constitution, from which it is undoubtedly derived. I am pretty sure that a federal legislator would have no Arrest Clause protection from a DWI arrest, and it is unclear why anyone thinks that a Minnesota legislator would be entitled to assert such a privilege.
Except that the professor for the students in question says she “witnessed a clearly drunken legislator last year bragging about his immunity from DWI arrests in a St. Paul bar last year.”
Well, how much more proof do you need?