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Searching 2018 Special Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 013 : OPERATION OF VEHICLES

Subchapter 013 : DRUNKEN DRIVING

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1203)
  • § 1203. Administration of tests; retention of test and videotape

    (a) A breath test shall be administered only by a person who has been certified by the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council to operate the breath testing equipment being employed. In any proceeding under this subchapter, a person's testimony that he or she is certified to operate the breath testing equipment employed shall be prima facie evidence of that fact.

    (b) Only a physician, licensed nurse, medical technician, physician assistant, medical technologist, or laboratory assistant acting at the request of a law enforcement officer may withdraw blood for the purpose of determining the presence of alcohol or other drug. This limitation does not apply to the taking of a breath sample.

    (c) When a breath test which is intended to be introduced in evidence is taken with a crimper device or when blood is withdrawn at an officer's request, a sufficient amount of breath or blood, as the case may be, shall be taken to enable the person to have made an independent analysis of the sample, and shall be held for at least 45 days from the date the sample was taken. At any time during that period the person may direct that the sample be sent to an independent laboratory of the person's choosing for an independent analysis. The Department of Public Safety shall adopt rules providing for the security of the sample. At no time shall the defendant or any agent of the defendant have access to the sample. A preserved sample of breath shall not be required when an infrared breath-testing instrument is used. A person tested with an infrared breath-testing instrument shall have the option of having a second infrared test administered immediately after receiving the results of the first test.

    (d) In the case of a breath test administered using an infrared breath testing instrument, the test shall be analyzed in compliance with rules adopted by the Department of Public Safety. The analyses shall be retained by the State. A sample is adequate if the infrared breath testing instrument analyzes the sample and does not indicate the sample is deficient. Analysis of the person's breath or blood which is available to that person for independent analysis shall be considered valid when performed according to methods approved by the Department of Public Safety. The analysis performed by the State shall be considered valid when performed according to a method or methods selected by the Department of Public Safety. The Department of Public Safety shall use rule making procedures to select its method or methods. Failure of a person to provide an adequate breath sample constitutes a refusal.

    (e) [Repealed.]

    (f) When a law enforcement officer has reason to believe that a person may be violating or has violated section 1201 of this title, the officer may request the person to provide a sample of breath for a preliminary screening test using a device approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety for this purpose. The person shall not have the right to consult an attorney prior to submitting to this preliminary breath alcohol screening test. The results of this preliminary screening test may be used for the purpose of deciding whether an arrest should be made and whether to request an evidentiary test and shall not be used in any court proceeding except on those issues. Following the screening test additional tests may be required of the operator pursuant to the provisions of section 1202 of this title.

    (g) The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner shall report in writing to the Department of Motor Vehicles the death of any person as the result of an accident involving a vehicle and the circumstances of such accident within five days of such death.

    (h) A Vermont law enforcement officer shall have a right to request a breath or blood sample in an adjoining state or country under this section unless prohibited by the law of the other state or country. If the law in an adjoining state or country does not prohibit an officer acting under this section from taking a breath or blood sample in its jurisdiction, evidence of such sample shall not be excluded in the courts of this State solely on the basis that the test was taken outside the State.

    (i) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall adopt emergency rules relating to the operation, maintenance, and use of preliminary alcohol screening devices for use by law enforcement officers in enforcing the provisions of this title. The commissioner shall consider relevant standards of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in adopting such rules. Any preliminary alcohol screening device authorized for use under this title shall be on the qualified products list of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

    (j) A videotape made of the alleged offense and subsequent processing may be erased or destroyed by the law enforcement agency no earlier than 90 days after final judgment, or, if no civil or criminal action is filed, no earlier than 90 days after the date the videotape was made.

    (k) A copy of a videotape made of the alleged offense shall be provided to the defendant within ten days after the defendant requests the copy and pays a $45.00 fee for its reproduction. No fee shall be charged to a defendant whom the court has determined to be indigent. (Added 1969, No. 267 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; amended 1971, No. 14, § 8, eff. March 11, 1971; 1971, No. 260 (Adj. Sess.), § 48; 1973, No. 79, § 3, eff. May 23, 1973; 1975, No. 103, § 1, eff. May 30, 1975; 1981, No. 103, § 4; 1989, No. 68, § 4, eff. Dec. 1, 1989; 1991, No. 55, § 4; 1991, No. 57, §§ 1, 4, eff. July 4, 1991; 1997, No. 57, § 2; 1999, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 17, eff. May 29, 2000; 2007, No. 153 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 2011, No. 56, § 14, eff. March 1, 2012.)