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Reilly v. Hults

Reilly v. Hults

Court Discuses the Revocation of Driver’s License after Refusing to Submit to a Chemical Test
The Motor Vehicle Commissioner appealed the annulment of the revocation of the defendant’s license by the Commissioner after he refused to submit to a chemical blood test to determine the alcohol content of his blood for driving while intoxication DWI. The commissioner appealed to review and annul the findings of the Supreme Court dated October 20, 1961, under article 78 of the Civil Practice Act.

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court reversed the lower court decision and reinstated the Commissioner’s decision of May 5, 1961 to revoke the defendant’s license. During the hearing of May 5, 1961, the referee disclosed that stricter standards contained in section 71-a of the former Vehicle and Traffic Law where it was found that a person refused to submit to a chemical blood test after being arrested on reasonable grounds that he was driving in an intoxicated state. The operator’s rights at the hearing which the defendant’s license was revoked were not prejudiced by the erroneous references to section 1194 of Vehicle and Traffic Law as to blood tests, where stricter standard contained in the former statute pertaining to refusal to submit to chemical tests following an arrest for driving while intoxicated was the sole standard considered by referee, by all interested parties testifying, and by defendant’s Queen County Criminal Attorney. However, there was a procedural error at the first hearing held on on February 10, 1961 where the defendant and his Queen County Criminal Lawyer were not present. The new hearing on May 5, 1961 gave the defendant full opportunity to be heard, proceeding at prior hearing was irrelevant upon review of subsequent hearing, and the defendant’s cross-motion should have been granted to the extent of striking from answer the paragraphs relating to earlier proceedings. The denial of the defendant’s motion did not prejudice him.

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