GRL Wins DOT and Saves CDL

Iowa provides a limited statutory right to speak with a family member or attorney before submitting to breath testing.  Most of the time, the driver must first trigger the right by asking for a phone call.

In this case, our client told the officer he had an out-of-state CDL.  He asked whether implied consent would affect his commercial driver’s license.  When the officer said that he couldn’t answer that question, our client replied that he would wait for the lawyer to arrive.

The officer immediately requested a breath specimen.  Our client refused.

GRL Law recently appealed the one year revocation for refusing.  Another DOT appeal, another WIN!

Here’s where the officer made a mistake.

The right was definitely triggered by the reference to a lawyer.  Section 804.20 requires the officer to then fully explain the scope of the right to speak with an attorney.  Here, the officer rolled right into implied consent instead.

The officer finally read him the section 804.20 advisory.  But it was fifteen minutes after refusing to submit a breath sample.  And only then for purposes of calling for a ride home.

The officer’s failure to fully explain the right to an attorney denied our client a reasonable opportunity to have his questions answered before deciding on breath testing.   This means the refusal cannot be used to revoke his Iowa driving privileges.  And there’s no revocation notice sent to his home state to disqualify his CDL.

Another CDL saved by GRL.