In a unanimous decision Friday, the Hawaii Supreme Court ruled that anyone pulled over for impaired driving has the right to speak with a lawyer before taking an alcohol or drug test.
The decision is a blow to advocates, who say it could lead to fewer drunk driving prosecutions.
Jonathan Burge, the attorney who brought the case to the state Supreme Court, said an individual could ultimately refuse to take any test. But there are consequences.
“I’d say this evidence will kill you if it comes in, but if you don’t do it, you’re going to have twice as long a license revocation and that’s the decision you’ll have to make,” he said.
The ruling throws out a common practice police officers have been doing for years — telling drivers they weren’t entitled to an attorney before submitting a blood or breath test.
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