Uncovering Officer Error Leads to WIN over DOT

posted by Colin Murphy on Monday, April 22, 2019

A recent ruling in a Cerro Gordo OWI case allowed my client to cut a two-year DOT license revocation period in half, a move that will certainly save hundreds, maybe more than a thousand dollars, in monthly ignition interlock expenses.

My investigation revealed that although my client refused to submit a breath sample for chemical testing, the arresting officer didn't record this refusal until 2:36 a.m.  The traffic stop occurred, however, three hours earlier. 

Normally, the State is entitled to a presumption that any test result obtained within two hours of the time of driving is the alcohol concentration at the time of driving.  Here, the belated test refusal served to call the presumption into question, which cast doubt on the admissibility of the refusal at trial. 

The State eventually stipulated to the inadmissibility and the court ruling confirming the same was all I needed to shave 12 months off of a two-year driver's license revocation for a second test refusal.

The ruling also provided the State with the opportunity to reevaluate its position on trial.  Subsequent plea negotiations allowed my client to plead to an ameded charge of OWI First Offense with the mandatory minimum sentence, which was a very satisfactory outcome under a difficult set of facts.



 
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About The Author

Recognized as a Top Attorney by Avvo (10/10), Colin Murphy has tried dozens of misdemeanor and felony cases to a jury over the last decade with numerous acquittals.  He has also obtained dismissals of more than 75 other drug and OWI charges through successful pre-trial rulings during the same p ... read more