Initial refusal of a chemical test can be negated by voluntarily withdrawal

Rothwell vs. Director of Revenue, WD76060

Western District (Platte County) 12-10-13

In this case Rothwell was arrested for Driving While Intoxicated. Pursuant to the facts, he initially consented to a breath test and then withdrew his consent to speak to an attorney. He then was combative with a nurse who attempted a warrantless blood draw. Finally he consented to a blood draw at the hospital. The Director of Revenue (DOR) suspended his license for a year due to the initial refusal. The trial court determined that he eventually consented and that negated his initial refusal.

In this appeal, the DOR argues that the trial court erred in allowing the voluntary consent to negate his prior refusal. The DOR argues that the case precedents in this matter misapplied the law as well.

Case law holds that a driver’s license cannot be administratively revoked if a driver voluntarily submits to a chemical test. To allow that would be contrary to the intent of the statute allowing both the year revocation for a refusal with the chemical test to prove guilt. The Court did note that the officer upon an initial refusal has the choice of either permitting the withdrawal of the refusal of chemical testing or letting the initial refusal stand.

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