The Iowa Court of Appeals has upheld the charge against a man accused of drunken driving in Chickasaw County, making clear you probably can’t use the excuse of tracking down a lawyer to significantly delay taking a breath test. One night last summer, a Chickasaw Deputy took Ryan Kipp in to the Sheriff’s office and asked him to take a breath test. Kipp told the deputy he wanted to talk to his attorney in Swisher; the Deputy suggested he call a local lawyer. Kipp then made six or seven phone calls to track down his attorney’s phone number but couldn’t contact the attorney he wanted. The deputy sheriff then had Kipp take the breathilizer test, and Kipp scored above the legal limit. A lower court threw out the test, saying the deputy should have given Kipp another chance to contact a local attorney in New Hampton, but the Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled the deputy was under no obligation to again inform Kipp that he could obtain the services of a local lawyer. The court says people pulled over for drunken driving have a “limited” right to counsel, and can’t use phone calls to track down a lawyer as a means of sobering up before submitting to a breath test. The breath test is to be taken within two hours of being pulled over for drunken driving, and in Kipp’s case there were just 28 minutes left before that two-hour window closed.
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