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Accused DWI Defendant Claims Police was Coerced to Take Breathalyzer Test


A police officer was called to the scene of a traffic accident involving two vehicles. When the police officer arrived he noticed that one of the drivers who figured in the accident had slurred speech, red and watery eyes and he was unsteady on his feet.

The police officer immediately placed the driver under arrest. In the patrol car, the police officer read to the arrested drunk driver his Miranda rights. A New York DWI Lawyer said as the police officer was driving his car to the precinct to complete the driver’s paperwork, the driver asked the police officer if he was not going to issue him a D.A.T (a Driver’s Appearance Ticket is a ticket issued by the police officer to a person caught violating the Vehicle and Traffic Law and instead of bringing him to the precinct, filing all the paper work for his arrest and bringing him to the court house immediately for his arraignment, the Driver’s Appearance Ticket will order the person to appear before the same arraignment court at a later date).

The police officers told the man that he would issue him a D.A.T. if he agreed to take the breathalyzer test and the coordination test. The police officer also told him that if he refused to take the breathalyzer test and the coordination test, no D.A.T. will be issued to him and he would have to be placed in jail until such time that he can be arraigned.

The man agreed to take the breathalyzer test and the coordination tests so that he wouldn’t have to spend any time in jail and simply appear at the arraignment court on the date appearing in the D.A.T. A New York DWI Lawyer said the police officer arrived at the precinct and by then, an hour had elapsed from the time that he was arrested. The police officer only had one more hour within which to administer the breathalyzer test and the coordination tests on the driver.

The man asked the police officer if he could have one phone call. He said that he wanted to call his family to tell them what happened to him; to tell them to call his lawyer; and to come and pick him up at the precinct. The police refused. He said that he would give him his phone call after the breathalyzer test and the coordination tests were over. The man took the tests. The man’s blood alcohol level was found to be at .10 per cent. He also failed the coordination tests. He was issued a D.A.T. and he appeared for arraignment.

At the arraignment, he filed a motion for preclusion of the breathalyzer test results and of the results of the coordination test. He claims that he was coerced to take the tests by the police when they made the issuance of the D.A.T. depend on his agreement to take the tests. He also claims that his right to an attorney was violated when he was made to take the test before he could call his lawyer whom he wanted to consult about whether he should take the tests.

The Court held that the issuance of the D.A.T. is within the discretion of the police officer. But, in this case, the police officer dangled the D.A.T. as a motivation for the man to agree to take the tests. The man didn’t want to spend time in jail and he was put in a position that he would do anything and consent to anything just to be issued a D.A.T. He was psychologically coerced into taking the tests.

The Court also held that when the driver asked for the chance to call his lawyer and the police officer refused until after he had taken the test, the police officer violated his right to an attorney. A phone call would not have taken over an hour to make. A Nassau County DWI Lawyer said by calling his attorney, the man could have gotten legal advice on whether he should take the breathalyzer and coordination tests.

The Court granted the man’s motion to preclude the results of the breathalyzer tests and the coordination tests.

Were you arrested for drunk driving because you were involved in a motor vehicle accident? You need the advice of a lawyer. A New York City DWI lawyer can advice you as to the possible criminal and civil consequences of the accident as well as of being found to be drunk driving. A New York DWI lawyer can give you advice on whether you should take a breathalyzer test. A NYC DWI lawyer will explain to you the consequences of refusing to take a breathalyzer test. At Stephen Bilkis and Associates, their NY DWI lawyers on staff are willing to advice you and they are also willing to represent you. Come and speak with any of the New York DWI lawyers on the staff of Stephen Bilkis and Associates today,

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