Denial of Independent Test Leads to Suppression of Breath Test Refusal

Polk County, Iowa- A GRL Law client was approached by officers while sleeping in his car in a residential neighborhood with his vehicle running.  Officers suspected that he was under the influence.  The client was taken back to the station where he was asked to consent to a breath test.  The client stated that he wanted to take the test if he could have his blood drawn.  Instead of allowing the client to choose who would come draw his blood for an independent test, the officer called the medical examiner down to draw his blood.  Based upon these circumstances, the client decided not to consent to chemical testing and he was marked as a refusal.  Mr. Gangestad filed a motion to suppress the breath test refusal because the client was denied an opportunity to have his blood drawn by an independent third party, not by someone of the State’s choosing.  This prompted the county attorney to suppress the chemical test refusal and the court granted the client a deferred judgment.  Jail time was avoided, as well as a lengthy driver’s license revocation.