The Iowa Supreme Court has released a split ruling involving a driver’s right to request a second test in a drunk driving case. Tony Lukins was pulled over after running a stop sign in Sutherland, Iowa in February of 2012.
He registered a .207 on the test, .08 is the legal limit and he was charged with operating while intoxicated. Lukins was videotaped asking for another chance to blow into the breathalyzer, saying he believed the alcohol level first recorded was too high since he had only consumed a six pack of beer. Officers refused to give him another test.
The Iowa Court of Appeals reversed Lukins conviction, saying Iowa law requires someone be allowed an independent chemical test at their own expense when accused of drunk driving. The Iowa Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that Lukins’ request for another attempt at the breathalyzer should be considered a request for an independent test, and ruled the first breathalyzer test must not be used.
Justice Thomas Waterman wrote the dissent, saying he does not agree that Lukins’ request for another breathalyzer test was a request for a chemical test. He says the ruling now meant that any request to retake the breath test will require disclosure of the independent chemical test options for blood or urine. He says the new disclosure requirement, is at odds with the precedent for applying that law.
See the ruling here: Lukins ruling PDF