Right to Consult a Lawyer Cases In Iowa

In State v. Vietor, 261 N.W.2d 828, 831 (Iowa 1978), the Iowa Supreme Court held: the privilege of consulting with counsel concerning exercise of legal rights should not, however, extend so far as to palpably impair and nullify the statutory procedure requiring drivers to choose between taking the test or losing their license. It is common knowledge that the human body dissipates alcohol rapidly and, indeed, . . . test results are admissible in evidence only if the test had been taken within two hours of the time of arrest. Where the defendant wishes only to telephone his lawyer or consult with a lawyer present in the stationhouse or immediately available there, no danger of delay is posed. But, to be sure, there can be no recognition of an absolute right to refuse the test until a lawyer reaches the scene . . . . If the lawyer is not physically present and cannot be reached promptly by telephone or otherwise, the defendant may be required to elect between taking the test and submitting to revocation of his license, without the aid of counsel. In Bromeland v. Iowa Dept. of Transp., 562 N.W.2d 624, 626 (Iowa 1997), the Iowa Supreme Court held Iowa Code section 804.20 does not provide an absolute right to counsel, but requires a peace officer to provide the arrestee with a reasonable opportunity to contact an attorney. In that case the arrestee was unable to contact the attorney he first requested, but declined an opportunity to contact another attorney. the court held because he was afforded the opportunity to contact an attorney but declined, the officer reasonably invoked implied consent. Bromeland, 562 N.W.2d at 626.