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Law Enforcement Officer’s Mistake Causes Suspension to be Set Aside

Law Enforcement Officer’s Mistake Causes Suspension to be Set Aside

In a recent case from our Supreme Court, the Court affirmed the decision of the NC Court of Appeals to set aside a one (1) year NC DMV suspension for Petitioner Lee’s refusal to submit to a chemical analysis of his breath in a DWI criminal case (Richard J. Lee v. William C. Gore; A18A10 (NCSC 2011)). The law plainly states that if a person refuses to submit to a chemical analysis of his/her breath, “the law enforcement officer and the chemical analyst shall without unnecessary delay go before an official authorized to administer oaths and execute an affidavit(s) stating…results of any tests given or that the person willfully refused to submit to a chemical analysis” N.C.G.S. § 20-16.2 (c1).  The law enforcement officer in this case presented affidavits that lacked correct documentation that Petitioner Lee’s refusal was in fact willful. Because of this clerical mistake, Petitioner Lee was able to successfully argue that the letter of the law was not followed regarding his refusal and therefore the one (1) year suspension imposed by NC DMV should be set aside.  The Court agreed.

2017-02-15T15:51:55+00:00