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Introduced Version House Bill 2574 History

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hb2574 intr
H. B. 2574


(By Delegates Yost, Ennis, Tucker, DeLong,
Pethtel and Swartzmiller)

[Introduced February 21, 2005; referred to the
Committee on the Judiciary.]



A BILL to amend and reenact §17C-5-4 and §17C-5-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, all relating to authorizing issuance of warrants to extract blood analysis of persons charged with driving under the influence.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §17C-5-4 and §17C-5-7 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 5. SERIOUS TRAFFIC OFFENSES.

§17C-5-4. Implied consent to test; administration at direction of law-enforcement officer; designation of type of test; definition of law-enforcement officer.

(a) Any person who drives a motor vehicle in this State is deemed to have given his or her consent by the operation of the motor vehicle to a preliminary breath analysis and a secondary chemical test of either his or her blood, breath or urine for the purposes of determining the alcoholic content of his or her blood.
(b) A preliminary breath analysis may be administered in accordance with the provisions of section five of this article whenever a law-enforcement officer has reasonable cause to believe a person has committed an offense prohibited by section two of this article or by an ordinance of a municipality of this State which has the same elements as an offense described in section two of this article.
(c) A secondary test of blood, breath or urine is incidental to a lawful arrest and is to be administered at the direction of the arresting law-enforcement officer having reasonable grounds to believe the person has committed an offense prohibited by section two of this article or by an ordinance of a municipality of this State which has the same elements as an offense described in section two of this article.
(d) The law-enforcement agency that employs the law-enforcement officer shall designate which type of secondary test is to be administered: Provided, That if the test designated is a blood test and the person arrested refuses to submit to the blood test, then the law-enforcement officer making the arrest shall designate either a breath or urine test to be administered. Notwithstanding the provisions of section seven of this article, the refusal to submit to a blood test only may not result in the revocation of the arrested person's license to operate a motor vehicle in this State: Provided, however, That the law-enforcement officer making the arrest may seek the issuance of a warrant to extract blood for analysis and a court of competent jurisdiction is authorized to issue a warrant for extraction of blood if the person arrested refuses to submit to the designated secondary test.
(e) Any person to whom a preliminary breath test is administered who is then arrested shall be given a written statement advising him or her that his or her refusal to submit to the secondary chemical test pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, will result in the revocation of his or her license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of at least one year and up to life.
(f) Any law-enforcement officer who has been properly trained in the administration of any secondary chemical test authorized by this article, including, but not limited to, certification by the Division of Health in the operation of any equipment required for the collection and analysis of a breath sample, may conduct the test at any location in the county wherein the arrest is made: Provided, That the law-enforcement officer may conduct the test at the nearest available properly functioning secondary chemical testing device located outside the county in which the arrest was made, if: (i) There is no properly functioning secondary chemical testing device located within the county the arrest was made; or (ii) there is no magistrate available within the county the arrest was made for the arraignment of the person arrested. A law-enforcement officer who is directing that a secondary chemical test be conducted has the authority to transport the person arrested to where the secondary chemical testing device is located.
(g) If the arresting officer lacks proper training in the administration of a secondary chemical test, then any other law-enforcement officer who has received training in the administration of the secondary chemical test to be administered may, upon the request of the arresting law-enforcement officer and in his or her presence, conduct the secondary test. The results of a test conducted pursuant to this subsection may be used in evidence to the same extent and in the same manner as if the test had been conducted by the arresting law-enforcement officer.
(h) Only the person actually administering or conducting a test conducted pursuant to this article is competent to testify as to the results and the veracity of the test.
(i) For the purpose of this article, the term "law-enforcement officer" or "police officer" means: (1) Any member of the West Virginia State Police; (2) any sheriff and any deputy sheriff of any county; (3) any member of a police department in any municipality as defined in section two, article one, chapter eight of this code; (4) any conservation officer of the Division of Natural Resources; and (5) any special police officer appointed by the Governor pursuant to the provisions of section forty-one, article three, chapter sixty-one of this code who has completed the course of instruction at a law-enforcement training academy as provided for under the provisions of section nine, article twenty-nine, chapter thirty of this code.
(j) A law-enforcement officer who has reasonable cause to believe that person has committed an offense prohibited by section eighteen, article seven, chapter twenty of this code, relating to the operation of a motorboat, jet ski or other motorized vessel, shall follow the provisions of this section in administering, or causing to be administered, a preliminary breath analysis and the secondary chemical test of the accused person's blood, breath or urine for the purpose of determining alcohol content of his or her blood.
§17C-5-7. Refusal to submit to tests; revocation of license or privilege; consent not withdrawn if person arrested is incapable of refusal; hearing.

(a) If any person under arrest as specified in section four of this article refuses to submit to any secondary chemical test, the tests shall not be given: Provided, That prior to such refusal, the person is given a written statement advising him or her that his or her refusal to submit to the secondary test finally designated will result in the revocation of his or her license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of at least one year and up to life. If a person initially refuses to submit to the designated secondary chemical test after being informed in writing of the consequences of such refusal, he or she shall be informed orally and in writing that after fifteen minutes said refusal shall be deemed to be final and the arresting officer shall after said period of time expires have no further duty to provide the person with an opportunity to take the secondary test. The officer shall within forty-eight hours of such refusal, sign and submit to the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles a written statement of the officer that: (1) He or she had reasonable grounds to believe such person had been driving a motor vehicle in this State while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs; (2) such person was lawfully placed under arrest for an offense relating to driving a motor vehicle in this State while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs; (3) such person refused to submit to the secondary chemical test finally designated in the manner provided in section four of this article; and (4) such person was given a written statement advising him or her that his or her license to operate a motor vehicle in this State would be revoked for a period of at least one year and up to life if he or she refused to submit to the secondary test finally designated in the manner provided in section four of this article. The signing of the statement required to be signed by this section shall constitute an oath or affirmation by the person signing such statement that the statements contained therein are true and that any copy filed is a true copy. Such statement shall contain upon its face a warning to the officer signing that to willfully sign a statement containing false information concerning any matter or thing, material, or not material, is false swearing and is a misdemeanor. Upon receiving the statement the Commissioner shall make and enter an order revoking such person's license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for the period prescribed by this section: Provided, however, That the law-enforcement officer making the arrest may seek the issuance of a warrant to extract blood for analysis and a court of competent jurisdiction is authorized to issue a warrant for extraction of blood if the person arrested refuses to submit to the designated secondary test.
For the first refusal to submit to the designated secondary chemical test, the Commissioner shall make and enter an order revoking such person's license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of one year. If the Commissioner has previously revoked the person's license under the provisions of this section, the Commissioner shall, for the refusal to submit to the designated secondary chemical test, make and enter an order revoking such person's license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of ten years: Provided, That the license may be reissued in five years in accordance with the provisions of section three, article five-a of this chapter. If the Commissioner has previously revoked the person's license more than once under the provisions of this section, the Commissioner shall, for the refusal to submit to the designated secondary chemical test, make and enter an order revoking such person's license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for a period of life: Provided, however, That the license may be reissued in ten years in accordance with the provisions of section three, article five-a of this chapter. A copy of each such order shall be forwarded to such person by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and shall contain the reasons for the revocation and shall specify the revocation period imposed pursuant to this section. No such revocation shall become effective until ten days after receipt of the copy of such order. Any person who is unconscious or who is otherwise in a condition rendering him or her incapable of refusal, shall be deemed not to have withdrawn his or her consent for a test of his or her blood, breath or urine as provided in section four of this article and the test may be administered although such person is not informed that his or her failure to submit to the test will result in the revocation of his or her license to operate a motor vehicle in this State for the period provided for in this section.
A revocation hereunder shall run concurrently with the period of any suspension or revocation imposed in accordance with other provisions of this code and growing out of the same incident which gave rise to the arrest for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, controlled substances or drugs and the subsequent refusal to undergo the test finally designated in accordance with the provisions of section four of this article.
(b) For the purposes of this section, where reference is made to previous suspensions or revocations under this section, the following types of suspensions or revocations shall also be regarded as suspensions or revocations under this section:
(1) Any suspension or revocation on the basis of a conviction under a municipal ordinance of another State or a statute of the United States or of any other State of an offense which has the same elements as an offense described in section two of this article, for conduct which occurred on or after the tenth day of June, tenth one thousand nine hundred eighty-three; and
(2) Any revocation under the provisions of section one or two, article five-a of this chapter, for conduct which occurred on or after June tenth, one thousand nine hundred eighty-three.
(c) A person whose license to operate a motor vehicle in this State has been revoked shall be afforded an opportunity to be heard, in accordance with the provisions of section two, article five-a of this chapter.



NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to authorize issuance of a warrant to extract blood analysis of persons charged with driving under the influence.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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