7-600 Traffic Law Enforcement

7‑601          TRAFFIC STOPS (06/24/88) (02/01/20)


A.     Initiating a stop

When making a traffic law enforcement (TLE) stop, the initiating squad shall:

1.      Notify the dispatcher of the location of the stop and the license number of the vehicle being stopped and initiate a call for service in accordance with P&P 7-100 Communications.

2.      Request a back‑up unit or roll‑by assist from the dispatcher, if one is needed or desired.

·         It is no longer a Department procedure to automatically start a roll-by or back‑up to a TLE if the stop is made by a one officer (able) squad.

B.     Equipment violations

1.      Issuing a Lights ON! Coupon

All MPD employees conducting motor vehicle stops for equipment violations shall issue a Lights ON! Coupon in Lieu of traffic citations, when available and applicable. If a Coupon is issued, then the officer shall advise the driver or recipient of the location in which the repair can be made.

a.       Applicable violations

Lights ON! Coupons can be issued for the following equipment violations;

·         Headlights

·         Turn signals

·         Rear lights

·         Rear license plate lights

·         Parking lights

b.      Coupons not available

If Lights ON! Coupons are not available, but the incident meets the Lights ON! Criteria, the officer shall:

·         Advise the driver of the equipment violation,

·         Provide a Blue Card to the driver, and

·         Advise the driver to bring the Blue Card to the nearest precinct to get a Lights ON! Coupon.

2.      Incidents involving other violations

a.       Other equipment violations

If the incident does not meet the criteria of the Lights ON! Program, the officer shall advise the driver of the equipment violation, subject to the following exception:

i.        The driver may be cited or charged by complaint in incidents where an equipment violation on a motor vehicle resulted in a motor vehicle crash or harm to another.

b.      Non-equipment violations

i.        This policy does not limit the ability of officers to arrest individuals who have committed a criminal offense or have any outstanding warrants.

ii.      If the incident involves a non-equipment violation, the officer shall still advise the driver of the equipment violation and issue a Lights ON! Coupon when applicable, in addition to any other actions taken during or in relation to the stop.

3.      Public safety risk

If the officer feels the equipment issue poses an unreasonable risk to public safety, the officer shall advise the driver to park the vehicle and get the issue resolved prior to driving the vehicle again.

4.      MDC Clear-Form

Officers shall complete the coupon section of the MDC Clear Form by selecting Yes, No or Not Available.

5.      Coupon supply

 Lights ON! Coupons will be stocked at each precinct.  If no coupons are available officers shall contact the Commander overseeing the Procedural Justice Division to request more.




Uniformed officers will draw their citation books from the division in which they are assigned. Other officers may draw books from any division normally charged with the responsibility of issuing citation books. (04/01/93)

All traffic tag books are obtained by the division, precinct or unit through the MPD Supply Room. The officer shall also fill out the green receipt of acknowledgment from the tag book and deposit the form in the precinct tag box. (04/01/93)

After a tag is written, the first copy shall be deposited in the precinct tag box by the end of the officer’s shift. The last copy is the officer's. The officer may use the reverse side of the last copy for personal notes. (04/05/05)

When a traffic tag is issued, the defendant should be made aware of the violation and how to proceed in processing the tag.



Officers shall use Minnesota state laws when enforcing all vehicle, parking and driving violations. The only exceptions shall be for miscellaneous city ordinance violations that are not covered under state law. State statute numbers can be found on the State Statute Traffic Card (MP-6202).



A CAPRS report shall be completed in the following circumstances:


Suspects of felony vehicle operation or drivers in fatal or critical injury accidents shall not be given citations. In such cases, officers shall detail the offenses in their arrest reports or statements.

Arrest reports and reports for seizures of personal property shall include rationale and legal justification for the initial stop, as well as justification for any subsequent search/seizure. If an in-custody arrest is made versus issuing a citation, the reason(s) for the in-custody arrest shall be documented in the corresponding CAPRS report. (08/01/08)


7-605          CHEMICAL TESTING - DRIVING VIOLATIONS (10/05/01) (08/21/03) (09/26/16)


A.    When arresting a person for driving/operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or handling a citizen's arrest for DUI, the arresting officer shall transport the suspect to the Chemical Testing Unit and a certified DMT-G (Data Master Transportable – Gas with fuel cell option) Operator shall offer the suspect a breath test. (11/08/16) 
1.      The suspect has the right to refuse the breath test.
a.       The Implied Consent Advisory (PS 01802-09) shall be read before offering the breath test.
b.      If a breath test has been offered and refused, the refusal is considered a crime under Minn. Stat. 169A.20, subd. 2.
2.      If the Chemical Testing Unit is closed, the officer will try to locate a certified DMT-G Operator by contacting MECC.
3.      A search warrant shall be secured for a blood test if:
·         a certified DMT-G Operator is not available,
·         the suspect is medically incapable of taking a breath test,
·         the suspect starts a breath test but claims he or she cannot physically complete the test, or
·         evidence indicates the presence of drugs other than alcohol.
4.      The suspect is also entitled to have additional testing done by a person of their own choice and at their own expense while in custody.
a.       The officer shall document the request in the CAPRS report and allow the suspect to use a telephone to make arrangements for alternative testing before transporting to Hennepin County Jail.
b.      Jail personnel shall be notified that arrangements for alternative testing have been made by the arrested party.
c.       The alternative test will be conducted at Hennepin County Jail.
B.     Special kits are available in the Chemical Testing Unit for taking a blood sample.
1.      Blood samples can only be drawn by authorized medical/hospital personnel.
2.      The blood sample must be marked on the outside of the kit box with the case number and the sample shall be deposited in the Chemical Testing Unit refrigerator.
C.    A Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) should be called when an officer believes a person has been driving/operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of a drug other than alcohol or in addition to alcohol.
1.      The officer or Chemical Testing Unit personnel shall contact MECC to request a DRE.
2.      If no DRE is available in the city, MECC will request a DRE from another agency (i.e., Minnesota State Patrol or University of Minnesota).
3.      If no DRE is available from another agency, MECC will contact an off-duty Minneapolis DRE from the callback roster to respond.
D.    In all cases, including testing of juveniles, the testing officer shall conduct a videotaped interview. This will include videotaping the reading of the Implied Consent Advisory.
1.      After completing the videotaped interview and DRE evaluation (if requested), the officer shall complete the identification process and:
·         Issue a citation and release the individual to a responsible person; or
·         Issue a citation and transport the individual to a detoxification facility; or
·         Process the individual through the Hennepin County Detention Center.
·         If a DRE evaluation was completed and/or a blood specimen taken on a DUI, request a Release Pending Complaint (RPC). When completing the Authority to Detain form, officers must write on the form "RPC - DRE Case."
·         DRE evaluation forms will be forwarded to the office of the Minneapolis City Attorney. This includes those partial evaluations not completed because of arrestee refusal to finish the evaluations.
E.     Driver’s License Revocation
1.      For arrested persons who refuse testing or for arrested persons who take the breath test with a .08 or more result (.04 or more for commercial vehicle driver), the officer shall clip the non-photographed corner of the person’s driver’s license to invalidate the driving privileges. (11/08/16) 
a.       When clipping the license, the officer shall ensure all descriptive information remains intact.
b.      The officer shall complete the State Notice and Order of Revocation form (PS 31123-10) and return the corner clipped license to the arrested person.
2.      If only a blood test is given, the officer shall return the license to the arrested driver WITHOUT CLIPPING THE LICENSE. It is the responsibility of the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles to act upon the test results.
3.      If the arrested person has an out-of-state Driver’s License, DO NOT clip the license. The officer shall complete the Minnesota Notice and Order of Revocation and return the license to the arrested person.
4.      The State Notice and Order of Revocation form shall also be completed for arrested persons not having a driver's license, however the officer shall write "NOT A DRIVER’S LICENSE" on the top of the form.
5.      In all cases, the original top copy of the Notice shall be given to the arrested person and the remaining copies will be left in the Chemical Testing Unit along with all other associated paperwork. Chemical Testing Unit personnel will forward the paperwork to the Records Unit.





Citizens observing violations of the law have the right to make an arrest. When an officer is unable to take enforcement actions but feels that a citizen can, that officer shall inform the citizen how to make a citizen's arrest. Once the arrest is properly made, the officer shall follow Department arrest procedures. On all arrests for traffic violations, officers shall make out the proper form stating the facts as related by citizens. Officers may also note other items of which they are aware. A copy of the Citizen's Arrest Form should be attached to the reporting form.

7‑607          PARKING VIOLATIONS (09/14/18)


A.     Under normal conditions, all existing parking regulations will be enforced with reasonableness and impartiality.

B.     Supervisors shall be responsible for parking enforcement in their precincts, and Watch Commanders will ensure citywide compliance.

C.     Towing shall be done in accordance with P&P 7-700 Vehicle Impounding and Towing.

D.     Winter Parking and Snow Emergencies

1.      Snow emergencies are declared by the City Engineer and the Chief of Police and last 72 hours. Streets posted as snow emergency routes shall have enforcement action taken to ensure proper plowing. 

2.      When the Winter Parking Restrictions are in place, as declared by the City, all vehicles parked in violation of the Restrictions shall be tagged.

3.      Vehicles parked in violation of Snow Emergencies or Winter Parking Restrictions shall be towed using an “Immediate Red Tag Tow,” in accordance with P&P 7-703 Towing Procedure- General.





An officer requesting that a traffic/parking charge or citation be dismissed by the City Attorney's Office shall submit a completed Recommendation for Dismissal of Traffic Charge form (MP- 6104) to their immediate supervisor. The dismissal form will include the vehicle license number or the City equipment number with a complete description of the incident. Traffic/Parking citations will not be dismissed for personal or monetary considerations. If approved, the supervisor shall sign the form and forward it to the Traffic Unit supervisor. If the Traffic Unit supervisor approves the request, the form will be sent to the City Attorney’s Office.



When issuing a citation for this type of violation, all officers must indicate on the bottom of the citation the number of such temporary signs located in the block in which the enforcement action is taken.


Violations for Driving after Revocation (DAR), Driving after Suspension (DAS) or Driving after Cancellation (DAC) shall be issued citations in lieu of arrest unless the officer believes that one of the following circumstances exists:
         To prevent bodily harm to the accused or another.
         To prevent further criminal conduct.
         There is a substantial likelihood that the accused will fail to respond to a citation.
         The officer cannot verify the identity of the accused.
         The officer has found that the accused has an outstanding warrant.
Officer shall not clip a driver’s license except for Driving after Cancellation Inimical to Public Safety (CANCIP) violations and when appropriate under current DWI guidelines.

Licenses confiscated for false identification or evidentiary purposes shall be property inventoried and the appropriate CAPRS reports shall be completed.




An officer, who believes that any driver should be reevaluated because of physical defects or improper driving ability may make such a recommendation to the Driver License Evaluator from the State of Minnesota. Recommendation for testing may be accomplished by using the available box on accident reports and/or completing a "Request for Examination of Driver" Form.


Squads are calibrated annually. Officers appearing in traffic court relative to a speeding tag based on a speedometer clocking shall bring a photocopy of the calibration card for the vehicle, which can be obtained from the Police Equipment Specialist. Officers will need to provide the P# of the vehicle. (11/06/07)


All speed measuring devices shall meet or exceed the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) standards. Operators of the devices shall be trained, certified and operate the devices consistent with NHTSA standards and Minnesota POST Board guidelines. (11/02/95)

Radar units shall be tested and calibrated at the Public Works Radio Shop once a year. The calibration and testing procedures for daily use will be followed by officers using the units to ensure proper performance on a daily basis. Units that do not perform properly will be taken to the Radio Shop for repair/replacement with an accompanying memo detailing the deficiencies. Other speed measuring devices will be tested in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendation. (07/23/97)


Semi-annual mileage checks shall be conducted at the precinct, unit and division levels. The mileage checks shall be conducted by the Commander, Unit Supervisor or their designee. Mileage checks shall be conducted during the months of April and October of each calendar year and will be due in the Police Equipment Specialist’s possession by April 30 (April's report) and October 31 (October's report). (04/29/93) (11/06/07)

Mileage Check forms are available from the Police Equipment Specialist. (11/06/07)



Last updated Feb 3, 2020



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