Birchfield v. North Dakota: Admissibility of Evidence of Defendant's Refusal to Submit to Chemical Testing--Unreasonable Searches and Seizures (PDF)

Evidence that an arrested motorist refused a chemical test can be devastating to the defense of a drunk driving charge. Admissibility of refusal evidence involves consideration of constitutional rights, statutory provisions, and rules of evidence. A 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision significantly changed the landscape with regard to criminal refusal statutes.
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For chemical test results to be admissible in a drunk driving trial, the state must be able to show that statutory requirements were met. The U.S. Supreme Court's 2016 decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota has significantly changed the landscape with regard to implied consent and criminal refusal statutes. This Emerging Issues Analysis examines the impact of that case on the admissibility of chemical test results.

Richard E. Erwin, Esq. is an author of Defense of Drunk Driving Cases Criminal-Civil, Third Edition, Volume 1.

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