Implied Consent to Breathalyzers
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Under Connecticut law, any person who operates a motor vehicle within the State shall be deemed to have given his or her consent to a chemical analysis of the operator’s blood, breath or urine and, if such person is a minor, such person’s parent, parents, or guardian is also deemed to have provided their consent.
Do I Have to Take the Field Sobriety Tests?
Connecticut’s implied consent rule does not mean that all operators must take field sobriety or chemical analysis tests requested by the arresting officer; in fact, a driver’s option to “refuse” the test is built into the statutory scheme. Under Connecticut General Statutes, Section 14-227b, “if any such person, having been placed under arrest for a violation of [Connecticut’s driving under the influence laws], and thereafter, after being apprised of such person’s constitutional rights, having been requested to submit to a blood, breath or urine test at the option of the police officer, having been afforded a reasonable opportunity to telephone an attorney prior to the performance of such test and having been informed that such person’s license or nonresident operating privilege may be suspended in accordance with the provisions of this section if such person refuses to submit to such test, or if such person submits to such test and the results of such test indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, and that evidence of any such refusal shall be admissible in accordance with subsection (e) of section 14-227a and may be used against such person in any criminal prosecution, refuses to submit to the designated test, the test shall not be given.”
What Happens When I Refuse?
If the driver refuses, or is unable to submit to a blood test, the police officer must make a notation upon the police report that the officer informed the operator that his or her driver’s license, or nonresident operating privilege may be suspended if he or she refused to submit to the test, and the operator chose to refuse.
If the operator is arrested and either refuses to submit to the breath, blood or urine analysis or chooses to submit to a test or analysis, commenced within two (2) hours of the time of operation, and the results of the test or analysis indicate that the operator has an elevated blood alcohol content, the police officer, acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, shall immediately revoke and take possession of the motor vehicle operator’s license or, if such person is a nonresident, suspend the nonresident operating privilege of such person, for a twenty-four-hour (24) period.
Thereafter, the police officer must prepare a report of the incident and mail or otherwise transmit the report, and a copy of the results of any chemical test or analysis to the Department of Motor Vehicles within three (3) business days. The report must contain such information as prescribed by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, and shall be subscribed and sworn to under penalty of false statement by the arresting officer. If the operator refused to submit to any test or analysis, the report shall be endorsed by a third person who witnessed the operator’s refusal. The report shall set forth the grounds for the officer’s belief that there was probable cause to arrest the operator, and must state that the operator refused to submit to such test or analysis when requested by the officer to do so, or that the operator submitted to such test or analysis, commenced within two (2) hours of the time of operation, and the results of the test or analysis indicated that the operator had an elevated blood alcohol content.
If an arrested operator submits to a blood or urine test at the request of the police officer, and the specimen requires laboratory analysis in order to obtain test results, the police officer shall not take possession of the motor vehicle operator’s license. If the test results indicate that such person has an elevated blood alcohol content, the police officer shall immediately notify the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles and submit to the Commissioner the written report as required. Upon receipt of the officer’s report, the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may suspend any operator’s license or nonresident operating privilege of such person effective as of a date certain, which date shall be not later than thirty (30) days after the date the operator received notice of his or her arrest by the police officer. Any person whose operator’s license (or nonresident operating privilege) has been suspended, shall automatically be entitled to a hearing before the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles, to be held prior to the effective date of the suspension. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles must send a suspension notice to the operator, informing such person that his or her operator’s license or nonresident operating privilege is suspended as of a date certain, and that the operator is entitled to a hearing prior to the effective date of the suspension and may schedule a hearing by contacting the Department of Motor Vehicles not later than seven (7) days after the date of mailing of such suspension notice.
If you have been arrested and charged with a driving under the influence related offense, contact the experienced criminal law attorneys today at 203-221-3100, or by email at JMaya@mayalaw.com. We have the experience and knowledge you need at this critical juncture. We serve clients throughout Connecticut and all of Fairfield County, from Greenwich and Stamford to Westport and Bridgeport.
Source: C.G.S. § 14-227a
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