*Motorists operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are a huge problem. Some states have enacted ‘no refusal’ statutes to assist with evidence gathering for driving while under the influence (DUI) offenses.
A ‘no refusal’ statute prevents motorists from refusing to submit to testing if suspected of being intoxicated while operating a vehicle. Nine states have enacted such statutes: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, and Utah.
For example, Driver is pulled over for speeding. Officer while speaking with Driver smells an odor of alcohol, observes red/glassy eyes, and Driver has slurred speech. Driver agrees to the standardized field sobriety tests, and fails. Officer requests a breath test from Driver. Driver refuses to submit to a breath test. In a ‘no refusal’ jurisdiction, Officer may obtain a search warrant to obtain Driver’s blood. Officer may transport Driver to a medical facility for the blood draw, or a certified Officer may draw the blood sample.
Prior to the enactment of the ‘no refusal’ statutes, motorists had the option to refuse to submit to the breath alcohol test. However, in Illinois, a refusal could result in a longer suspension of driving privileges. A DUI prosecution without a breath test result may be difficult to prove in some cases. Prosecutors in jurisdictions with ‘no refusal’ statutes may obtain more DUI convictions with evidence from the blood samples.
As a former prosecutor, ‘no refusal’ statutes make proving a DUI easier if the blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit. On the other hand, as a defense attorney, one must examine the procedure used to obtain a client’s blood sample. These issues can be avoided if drivers refrain from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Jameika Williams Mangum is an Attorney at the Mangum Law Firm, LLC in the Chicago area. The Mangum Law Firm, LLC is a general practice firm with a focus on Criminal, Civil, and Family Law. For more information, please visit www.themangumlawfirm.com.
Disclaimer: Material appearing in this column is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. Conveying this information by means of the internet is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Links in this column to other websites are for your convenience only and not an endorsement or recommendation of those sites or their content. The information in this column may not constitute the most current legal developments. You should not act, or refrain from acting, on the basis of information in this column. With respect to all legal matters you should seek the advice of professional legal counsel licensed in the appropriate jurisdiction. The Mangum Law Firm, LLC, The Mangum Legal Minute, and affiliates expressly disclaim all liability in respect of all matters and all actions taken or not taken based on any information contained in this column or any site which is linked to this column.