Right to Consult With an Attorney Prior to Alcohol Test in New York

In People v. Gursey, 22 NY2d 224, 229, 239 N.E.2d 351, 292 N.Y.S.2d 416 (1968), Judge Breitel noted that the Court's unanimous decision recognizing a defendant's right to consult with an attorney prior to deciding whether to agree to take what was then called a "drunkometer" test was made "in light of the current recognition of the importance of counsel in criminal proceedings affecting significant legal rights." As a result, the Court clearly held that a police officer may not "prevent access between a criminal accused and his lawyer, available in person or by immediate telephone communication, if such action does not interfere unduly with the matter at hand." Id.