Jameika Williams Mangum

*Motorists operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs are a huge problem. Some states have enacted ‘no refusal’ statutes to assist with evidence gathering for driving while under the influence (DUI) offenses.

A ‘no refusal’ statute prevents motorists from refusing to submit to testing if suspected of being intoxicated while operating a vehicle. Nine states have enacted such statutes: Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Missouri, Louisiana, Kansas, Texas, and Utah.

For example, Driver is pulled over for speeding. Officer while speaking with Driver smells an odor of alcohol, observes red/glassy eyes, and Driver has slurred speech. Driver agrees to the standardized field sobriety tests, and fails. Officer requests a breath test from Driver. Driver refuses to submit to a breath test. In a ‘no refusal’ jurisdiction, Officer may obtain a search warrant to obtain Driver’s blood. Officer may transport Driver to a medical facility for the blood draw, or a certified Officer may draw the blood sample.

Prior to the enactment of the ‘no refusal’ statutes, motorists had the option to refuse to submit to the breath alcohol test. However, in Illinois, a refusal could result in a longer suspension of driving privileges. A DUI prosecution without a breath test result may be difficult to prove in some cases. Prosecutors in jurisdictions with ‘no refusal’ statutes may obtain more DUI convictions with evidence from the blood samples.

As a former prosecutor, ‘no refusal’ statutes make proving a DUI easier if the blood alcohol concentration is above the legal limit. On the other hand, as a defense attorney, one must examine the procedure used to obtain a client’s blood sample. These issues can be avoided if drivers refrain from operating a vehicle while intoxicated.

Jameika Williams Mangum is an Attorney at the Mangum Law Firm, LLC in the Chicago area. The Mangum Law Firm, LLC is a general practice firm with a focus on Criminal, Civil, and Family Law. For more information, please visit www.themangumlawfirm.com.

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