New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1194 Example Case

In People v. Atkins (85 NY2d 1007, 654 NE2d 1213, 630 NYS2d 965 [1995]) the Court held that where a defendant "expressly and voluntarily" consents to be tested, the results are reliable evidence and admissible at trial, even if the test is conducted more than two hours after the defendant consented to take it (Id. at 1008-1009). In reaching its conclusion, the Atkins Court rejected the argument that the two-hour time limit is "an absolute rule of relevance, proscribing admission of the results of any chemical test administered after that period regardless of the nature of the driver's consent" (id. at 1009). The Court went on to say that this argument is undermined by the lack of a corresponding time limit for court-ordered tests under Vehicle and Traffic Law 1194 (3) or by a physician of the operator's own choosing under Vehicle and Traffic Law 1194 (4) (b). Thus, the Court unequivocally held that "the two-hour limitation contained in Vehicle and Traffic Law 1194 (2) (a) has no application here where a defendant expressly and voluntarily consented to administration of the blood test." (Id. at 1009)