senate Bill S757
(R) 0 Senate District
- In Committee
- On Floor Calendar
- Passed Senate
- Passed Assembly
- Delivered to Governor
- Signed/Vetoed by Governor
Relates to compulsory chemical testing.
TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to compulsory
The purpose of this bill is to provide the necessary tools to allow
the implementation of a "no refusal" policy in New York State,
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill amends the section 1194 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law to
allow application to a court to compel compliance with a chemical
test where a motorist is suspected to be under the influence and
where the driver has refused a chemical test.
Under current law, a police officer or district attorney may apply for
an order to compel upon refusal by an operator to submit to a
chemical test only when there is reasonable cause to believe the
operator is DUI and there is serious bodily harm or death. Law
enforcement is not permitted to apply for an order to compel where
there is there is reasonable cause, but neither serious bodily harm
Under current law, upon receipt of his or her driver license a
motorist is deemed to have given consent to submit to a chemical test
when reasonable cause exists to believe he or she is driving under
the influence - this is a condition of the privilege to drive. Should
a motorist choose not to submit, he or she faces a period of license
revocation and monetary penalties. Law enforcement, however, faces
the prospect of having to make a case without what is often times the
sole piece of objective evidence in a DUI case.
Given the choice of a fine and period of revocation, as against
providing substantial evidence of one's guilt in what could be a
criminal matter, it is no surprise that many times a motorist refuses
to submit to a chemical test. This legislation seeks to strengthen
law enforcement's hand in these situations. This bill
would allow applications to the court in any situation in which law
enforcement has a reasonable belief that a motorist is driving under
the influence and that motorist has refused to submit to a chemical
test. This bill would add real teeth to the "implied consent"
provision of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
Presently, the authority to apply to a court for an order to compel
submission to a chemical test exists only in situations of death or
serious injury. This bill allow for applications to the court where a
motorist refuses to submit to a chemical test in situations where
there is a reasonable cause exists to believe the motorist is under
the influence but in which there has been no death or serious injury.
In so amending the law, all judicial safeguards have been preserved.
A law enforcement officer must articulate to a judge his or her
reasonable cause for the belief that the motorist was driving under
the influence, and only when a judge is satisfied that such cause
exists will a court order be issued.
In December, U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood highlighted the
need for a national "no refusal" policy, calling on each state to
adopt such a policy. Presently, nine states implement no refusal
strategies at some level. New York's adoption of such a policy would
be a strong tool for law enforcement in the prevention of DUI and DUI
2011-12: Passed the Senate (S.3768B)
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