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State v. Senn

882 N.W.2d 1 (2016)

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State v. Senn

Iowa Supreme Court

882 N.W.2d 1 (2016)

Facts

Early in the morning, a police officer stopped John Senn (defendant) after spotting Senn’s car stopped at a red light in the middle of an intersection, with the car’s back tires about five feet past the crosswalk. Senn failed a field sobriety test. A preliminary breath test showed Senn’s blood-alcohol level was more than double the legal limit. The officer arrested Senn and took him to the station for a breathalyzer. The officer gave Senn a copy of an implied-consent advisory that explained the consequences of refusing an officer’s lawful request for a breath or blood test. Senn asked to call his attorney. Senn’s attorney advised Senn to ask for privacy during the call. The officer denied the request pursuant to an Iowa statute that permitted private in-person consultations with an attorney but also permitted an officer or jailer to be present during phone calls with an attorney. Senn could not find an attorney to come to the police station at such a late hour and ultimately decided to submit to the breathalyzer, which showed Senn’s blood-alcohol level was nearly double the legal limit. The state charged Senn with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The trial court denied Senn’s motion to suppress the results of the breathalyzer. Senn was convicted and appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Waterman, J.)

Concurrence (Cady, C.J.)

Dissent (Wiggins, J.)

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