DUI Checkpoint Refusal – The Law – Episode 2
Kansas DUI law that makes test refusal a crime is ruled unconstitutional
Kansans who refuse to submit to a breath or blood test in DUI investigations cannot be criminally prosecuted for that refusal, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Friday. The court found unconstitutional a state law making it a crime to refuse such a test when no court-ordered warrant exists. In its 6-1 ruling, the court found that the tests were in essence searches and the law punishes people for exercising their constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Under Kansas law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state has given implied consent to submit to such testing. The court ruled that the implied consent is not irrevocable and withdrawal of that consent cannot be criminally punished.
The refusal law was classified either as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on how many times an individual had been charged with violating it. Justice Caleb Stegall wrote a dissent in which he said that the law could be applied constitutionally in some situations. Howe said the U.S. Supreme Court is currently considering cases from other states on the same issue, and he is hopeful that Kansas could seek to join that action. In a related opinion Friday, the court ruled in the case of a person who consented to such a search after being told he would face criminal prosecution if he refused.
The U.S. Supreme Court announced in December that it will decide whether states can criminalize a driver’s refusal to take an alcohol test. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that police usually must try to obtain a search warrant before ordering blood tests for drunken-driving suspects. The high court said circumstances justifying an exception to the warrant requirement should be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Drivers beware: New ‘E-DUI’ law takes effect
The new law is part of the state’s push to reduce traffic fatalities, which are increasingly tied to distracted driving. Erica Mascorro, a spokeswoman for the traffic commission, said using a phone while stopped a traffic light or intersection is still dangerous even if the driver’s car isn’t moving. In 2015, the commission recorded 171 deaths from distracted driving in Washington – a 30 percent increase from the previous year. In 2016, the Washington State Patrol had more than 13,000 contacts with motorists for cellphone use while driving and more than 3,300 contacts for texting while driving. In 2008, the year after the iPhone was released, there were two fatal crashes and five crashes that resulted in serious injury from distracted driving.
From 2011 to 2012, the number of citations issued for cellphone use while driving more than doubled in Cowlitz County. Longview Police appear to be enforcing distracted driving laws on a routine basis, with roughly 1,100 citations issued since 2008 – twice as many as the Olympia-based Washington State Patrol unit. Sgt. Chris Blanchard said distracted driving has become as big a problem as drunk driving. Based on the behavior of a vehicle, it can be impossible for officers to tell the difference between an intoxicated driver and a distracted driver, he said.
Walsh also said he thinks the new law could disproportionately affect rural and suburban drivers. When Kelso resident Shalisa Caskey was cited in late May, she said Officer Roy Slaven explained that Kelso has a zero tolerance policy for talking on a phone while driving. Reached by phone while she was pulled over on the side of the road, Caskey said she hasn’t used her phone while driving since receiving the $136 ticket.
State of Florida.com
StateofFlorida.com is not affiliated with, owned, or operated by the State of Florida and is not endorsed or approved by the State of Florida. The following information applies to those with their first conviction. Probation: For first convictions, the total period of probation and incarceration will not be greater than 1 year. If you are looking to reinstate your license and this is your first DUI Conviction, and you have 180 to 1 year revocation effective from the conviction date, you can apply for a hardship license in your county before the expiration of this revocation period,. You can apply for a hardship license in the Administrative reviews office where you live.
If you wait to reinstate your license until your revocation period ends, you may need to have proof of enrollment or completion of a DUI school and treatment. If you fail to complete this course within 90 days after reinstatement, it will result in cancellation of your driver’s license until the course is completed. Again, failure to complete treatment may result in cancellation of your driver’s license. At the time of reinstatement for hardship or full license privileges, you must take a required examination and pay $115 as an administrative fee, along with a $60 reinstatement fee. Besides consultation on your options, another reason you may want to hire a lawyer is because you have only 10 days from the date of arrest to apply for a hardship license and work permit.
If you do not request a court hearing within 10 days from the date you were arrested, your license can be suspended for 6-18 months. It is important to remember that in the State of Florida, a conviction of a DUI will remain on your record for 75 years.