Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Reasonable Opportunity to Make a Call

State v. Karpan, no. 07-2055 (Iowa CT. App. July 30, 2008)
Karpan was stopped by a Huxley officer for weaving across the center line. He admitted he'd been drinking, failed field sobriety testing, and failed a preliminary breath test. Karpan was arrested and transported to the Story County law enforcement center.

At the station Karpan was given the opportunity to make phone calls. He talked to one attorney for 20 minutes, failed to reach another, and spoke with a third for 4 minutes. At this time the officer informed Karpan that he had to decide whether to take the breathalyzer test or not because the two hour limit was looming. After failing to give an adequate specimen, his actions were recorded as a refusal.

Karpan moved to suppress the test results, which the district court overruled. On appeal the Court of Appeals affirmed. The fighting issue on appeal was whether Karpan had been given a reasonable opportunity under Iowa Code section 804.20 to call his attorney.

The court held that seven calls and talking to two attorneys was plenty enough.


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