New Mexico ruling cites limit on police duty in DWI testing
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico State Supreme Court has overturned a lower court and ruled that police don’t have to help drunken-driving suspects arrange to exercise their right under state law to have an independent blood-alcohol test.
The decision Thursday stems from Stefan Chakerian’s 2008 arrest by Albuquerque police and says police only must advise suspects of their right to have a test and not interfere with exercising the right.
An officer provided Chakerian with access to a phone, a telephone directory and a pen, but Chakerian testified he didn’t arrange an independent test because too much time had passed and he didn’t know whom to call.
The Supreme Court’s decision overturns a Court of Appeals ruling that said police must “meaningfully cooperate” with a suspect’s desire to have an independent test.