The Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the breath test refusal conviction for a former Minnesota Supreme Court candidate arrested on suspicion of drunken driving.
Michelle MacDonald, 54, was arrested in Rosemount in April 2013 after an officer caught her speeding and swerving into another lane. She refused to perform a field sobriety test and leave her car. She demanded to have her breath test in front of a judge, which was denied by the officer.
MacDonald, an attorney identified in court documents as Michelle MacDonald Shimota, was convicted by a Dakota County jury of test refusal and obstructing legal process but found not guilty of driving under the influence.
MacDonald appealed, but the Court of Appeals ruled that state law didn’t require the officer to present her to a judge before he completed the implied-consent testing procedure. The court also rejected her argument that she had a constitutional right to create a video recording of her trial.
MacDonald was the Republican-endorsed Supreme Court candidate in 2014, but lost to incumbent Justice David Lillehaug. Recently, she was the attorney for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, the mother of a pair of runaway teenage sisters who left their home in April 2013 in the midst of a custody dispute. Grazzini-Rucki was charged with six felony counts of deprivation of parental rights and remains jailed in Ramsey County. The girls, who were found in November at a western Minnesota horse ranch, have since been returned to their father.