New Mexico v. ChakerianAnnotate this Case
The issue this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review centered on: (1) whether the arresting officer denied Defendant Stefan Chakerian the right to an independent chemical test in addition to one administered by police when arrested for driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor (DWI) when the officer provided Defendant with a telephone and telephone directory, but took no additional steps to help Defendant arrange for the test; and (2) what role law enforcement officers have after an arrestee expresses a desire for an additional test under Section 66-8-109(B). The Court of Appeals held that Section 66-8-109(B) required law enforcement to “meaningfully cooperate” with an arrestee who desired to obtain an additional chemical test, and reversed Defendant’s DWI conviction. The Supreme Court held Section 66-8-109(B) required law enforcement to advise an arrestee of the arrestee’s right to be given an opportunity to arrange for a qualified person of the arrestee’s own choosing to perform a chemical test in addition to any test performed at the direction of the arresting officer. This section does not, however, confer any additional obligation on law enforcement to facilitate the arrestee in actually arranging for the test. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals and affirmed the metropolitan court convictions of DWI and speeding.