20-16.2.  Implied consent to chemical analysis; mandatory revocation of license in event of refusal; right of driver to request analysis.

(a)        Basis for Officer to Require Chemical Analysis; Notification of Rights. - Any person who drives a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area thereby gives consent to a chemical analysis if charged with an implied-consent offense. Any law enforcement officer who has reasonable grounds to believe that the person charged has committed the implied-consent offense may obtain a chemical analysis of the person.

Before any type of chemical analysis is administered the person charged shall be taken before a chemical analyst authorized to administer a test of a person's breath or a law enforcement officer who is authorized to administer chemical analysis of the breath, who shall inform the person orally and also give the person a notice in writing that:

(1)        You have been charged with an implied-consent offense. Under the implied-consent law, you can refuse any test, but your drivers license will be revoked for one year and could be revoked for a longer period of time under certain circumstances, and an officer can compel you to be tested under other laws.

(2)        Repealed by Session Laws 2006-253, s. 15, effective December 1, 2006, and applicable to offenses committed on or after that date.

(3)        The test results, or the fact of your refusal, will be admissible in evidence at trial.

(4)        Your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days if you refuse any test or the test result is 0.08 or more, 0.04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle, or 0.01 or more if you are under the age of 21.

(5)        After you are released, you may seek your own test in addition to this test.

(6)        You may call an attorney for advice and select a witness to view the testing procedures remaining after the witness arrives, but the testing may not be delayed for these purposes longer than 30 minutes from the time you are notified of these rights. You must take the test at the end of 30 minutes even if you have not contacted an attorney or your witness has not arrived.

(a1)      Meaning of Terms. - Under this section, an "implied-consent offense" is an offense involving impaired driving, a violation of G.S. 20-141.4(a2), or an alcohol-related offense made subject to the procedures of this section. A person is "charged" with an offense if the person is arrested for it or if criminal process for the offense has been issued.

(b)        Unconscious Person May Be Tested. - If a law enforcement officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed an implied-consent offense, and the person is unconscious or otherwise in a condition that makes the person incapable of refusal, the law enforcement officer may direct the taking of a blood sample or may direct the administration of any other chemical analysis that may be effectively performed. In this instance the notification of rights set out in subsection (a) and the request required by subsection (c) are not necessary.

(c)        Request to Submit to Chemical Analysis. - A law enforcement officer or chemical analyst shall designate the type of test or tests to be given and may request the person charged to submit to the type of chemical analysis designated. If the person charged willfully refuses to submit to that chemical analysis, none may be given under the provisions of this section, but the refusal does not preclude testing under other applicable procedures of law.

(c1)      Procedure for Reporting Results and Refusal to Division. - Whenever a person refuses to submit to a chemical analysis, a person has an alcohol concentration of 0.15 or more, or a person's drivers license has an alcohol concentration restriction and the results of the chemical analysis establish a violation of the restriction, the law enforcement officer and the chemical analyst shall without unnecessary delay go before an official authorized to administer oaths and execute an affidavit(s) stating that:

(1)        The person was charged with an implied-consent offense or had an alcohol concentration restriction on the drivers license;

(2)        A law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person had committed an implied-consent offense or violated the alcohol concentration restriction on the drivers license;

(3)        Whether the implied-consent offense charged involved death or critical injury to another person, if the person willfully refused to submit to chemical analysis;

(4)        The person was notified of the rights in subsection (a); and

(5)        The results of any tests given or that the person willfully refused to submit to a chemical analysis.

If the person's drivers license has an alcohol concentration restriction, pursuant to G.S. 20-19(c3), and an officer has reasonable grounds to believe the person has violated a provision of that restriction other than violation of the alcohol concentration level, the officer and chemical analyst shall complete the applicable sections of the affidavit and indicate the restriction which was violated. The officer shall immediately mail the affidavit(s) to the Division. If the officer is also the chemical analyst who has notified the person of the rights under subsection (a), the officer may perform alone the duties of this subsection.

(d)       Consequences of Refusal; Right to Hearing before Division; Issues. - Upon receipt of a properly executed affidavit required by subsection (c1), the Division shall expeditiously notify the person charged that the person's license to drive is revoked for 12 months, effective on the tenth calendar day after the mailing of the revocation order unless, before the effective date of the order, the person requests in writing a hearing before the Division. Except for the time referred to in G.S. 20-16.5, if the person shows to the satisfaction of the Division that his or her license was surrendered to the court, and remained in the court's possession, then the Division shall credit the amount of time for which the license was in the possession of the court against the 12-month revocation period required by this subsection. If the person properly requests a hearing, the person retains his or her license, unless it is revoked under some other provision of law, until the hearing is held, the person withdraws the request, or the person fails to appear at a scheduled hearing. The hearing officer may subpoena any witnesses or documents that the hearing officer deems necessary. The person may request the hearing officer to subpoena the charging officer, the chemical analyst, or both to appear at the hearing if the person makes the request in writing at least three days before the hearing. The person may subpoena any other witness whom the person deems necessary, and the provisions of G.S. 1A-1, Rule 45, apply to the issuance and service of all subpoenas issued under the authority of this section. The hearing officer is authorized to administer oaths to witnesses appearing at the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted in the county where the charge was brought, and shall be limited to consideration of whether:

(1)        The person was charged with an implied-consent offense or the driver had an alcohol concentration restriction on the drivers license pursuant to G.S. 20-19;

(2)        A law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe that the person had committed an implied-consent offense or violated the alcohol concentration restriction on the drivers license;

(3)        The implied-consent offense charged involved death or critical injury to another person, if this allegation is in the affidavit;

(4)        The person was notified of the person's rights as required by subsection (a); and

(5)        The person willfully refused to submit to a chemical analysis.

If the Division finds that the conditions specified in this subsection are met, it shall order the revocation sustained. If the Division finds that any of the conditions (1), (2), (4), or (5) is not met, it shall rescind the revocation. If it finds that condition (3) is alleged in the affidavit but is not met, it shall order the revocation sustained if that is the only condition that is not met; in this instance subsection (d1) does not apply to that revocation. If the revocation is sustained, the person shall surrender his or her license immediately upon notification by the Division.

(d1)     Consequences of Refusal in Case Involving Death or Critical Injury. - If the refusal occurred in a case involving death or critical injury to another person, no limited driving privilege may be issued. The 12-month revocation begins only after all other periods of revocation have terminated unless the person's license is revoked under G.S. 20-28, 20-28.1, 20-19(d), or 20-19(e). If the revocation is based on those sections, the revocation under this subsection begins at the time and in the manner specified in subsection (d) for revocations under this section. However, the person's eligibility for a hearing to determine if the revocation under those sections should be rescinded is postponed for one year from the date on which the person would otherwise have been eligible for the hearing. If the person's driver's license is again revoked while the 12-month revocation under this subsection is in effect, that revocation, whether imposed by a court or by the Division, may only take effect after the period of revocation under this subsection has terminated.

(e)        Right to Hearing in Superior Court. - If the revocation for a willful refusal is sustained after the hearing, the person whose license has been revoked has the right to file a petition in the superior court district or set of districts defined in G.S. 7A-41.1, where the charges were made, within 30 days thereafter for a hearing on the record. The superior court review shall be limited to whether there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the Commissioner's findings of fact and whether the conclusions of law are supported by the findings of fact and whether the Commissioner committed an error of law in revoking the license.

(e1)      Limited Driving Privilege after Six Months in Certain Instances. - A person whose driver's license has been revoked under this section may apply for and a judge authorized to do so by this subsection may issue a limited driving privilege if:

(1)        At the time of the refusal the person held either a valid drivers license or a license that had been expired for less than one year;

(2)        At the time of the refusal, the person had not within the preceding seven years been convicted of an offense involving impaired driving;

(3)        At the time of the refusal, the person had not in the preceding seven years willfully refused to submit to a chemical analysis under this section;

(4)        The implied consent offense charged did not involve death or critical injury to another person;

(5)        The underlying charge for which the defendant was requested to submit to a chemical analysis has been finally disposed of:

a.         Other than by conviction; or

b.         By a conviction of impaired driving under G.S. 20-138.1, at a punishment level authorizing issuance of a limited driving privilege under G.S. 20-179.3(b), and the defendant has complied with at least one of the mandatory conditions of probation listed for the punishment level under which the defendant was sentenced;

(6)        Subsequent to the refusal the person has had no unresolved pending charges for or additional convictions of an offense involving impaired driving;

(7)        The person's license has been revoked for at least six months for the refusal; and

(8)        The person has obtained a substance abuse assessment from a mental health facility and successfully completed any recommended training or treatment program.

Except as modified in this subsection, the provisions of G.S. 20-179.3 relating to the procedure for application and conduct of the hearing and the restrictions required or authorized to be included in the limited driving privilege apply to applications under this subsection. If the case was finally disposed of in the district court, the hearing shall be conducted in the district court district as defined in G.S. 7A-133 in which the refusal occurred by a district court judge. If the case was finally disposed of in the superior court, the hearing shall be conducted in the superior court district or set of districts as defined in G.S. 7A-41.1 in which the refusal occurred by a superior court judge. A limited driving privilege issued under this section authorizes a person to drive if the person's license is revoked solely under this section or solely under this section and G.S. 20-17(2). If the person's license is revoked for any other reason, the limited driving privilege is invalid.

(f)        Notice to Other States as to Nonresidents. - When it has been finally determined under the procedures of this section that a nonresident's privilege to drive a motor vehicle in this State has been revoked, the Division shall give information in writing of the action taken to the motor vehicle administrator of the state of the person's residence and of any state in which the person has a license.

(g)        Repealed by Session Laws 1973, c. 914.

(h)        Repealed by Session Laws 1979, c. 423, s. 2.

(i)         Right to Chemical Analysis before Arrest or Charge. - A person stopped or questioned by a law enforcement officer who is investigating whether the person may have committed an implied consent offense may request the administration of a chemical analysis before any arrest or other charge is made for the offense. Upon this request, the officer shall afford the person the opportunity to have a chemical analysis of his or her breath, if available, in accordance with the procedures required by G.S. 20-139.1(b). The request constitutes the person's consent to be transported by the law enforcement officer to the place where the chemical analysis is to be administered. Before the chemical analysis is made, the person shall confirm the request in writing and shall be notified:

(1)        That the test results will be admissible in evidence and may be used against you in any implied consent offense that may arise;

(2)        Your driving privilege will be revoked immediately for at least 30 days if the test result is 0.08 or more, 0.04 or more if you were driving a commercial vehicle, or 0.01 or more if you are under the age of 21.

(3)        That if you fail to comply fully with the test procedures, the officer may charge you with any offense for which the officer has probable cause, and if you are charged with an implied consent offense, your refusal to submit to the testing required as a result of that charge would result in revocation of your driving privilege. The results of the chemical analysis are admissible in evidence in any proceeding in which they are relevant.  (1963, c. 966, s. 1; 1965, c. 1165; 1969, c. 1074, s. 1; 1971, c. 619, ss. 3-6; 1973, c. 206, ss. 1, 2; cc. 824, 914; 1975, c. 716, s. 5; 1977, c. 812; 1979, c. 423, s. 2; 1979, 2nd Sess., c. 1160; 1981, c. 412, s. 4; c. 747, s. 66; 1983, c. 87; c. 435, s. 11; 1983 (Reg. Sess., 1984), c. 1101, ss. 5-8; 1987, c. 797, s. 3; 1987 (Reg. Sess., 1988), c. 1037, ss. 76, 77; c. 1112; 1989, c. 771, ss. 13, 14, 18; 1991, c. 689, s. 233.1(c); 1993, c. 285, ss. 3, 4; 1995, c. 163, s. 1; 1997-379, ss. 3.1-3.3; 1998-182, s. 28; 1999-406, ss. 1, 10; 2000-155, s. 5; 2006-253, s. 15; 2007-493, ss. 25, 27; 2011-119, s. 1.)