State v. Abdereazeq, (95-1149) 06/18/1996

NO. COA95-1149

NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS

Filed: 18 June 1996

STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA

    Appellant,

v. Halifax County

                                Nos:

SHELIA ABDEREAZEQ                    93 CRS 5329

MACK ARTHUR BOOTH                    94 CRS 4859

WILLIAM MICHAEL BRINSON                 94 CRS 4113

MICHAEL WAYNE BUNN                    93 CRS 4849

KENNETH T. CARTER                     94 CRS 6028

TYRONNE ANTHONY CAUDLE                94 CRS 1149

ALLENE COGSWELL                     94 CRS 4581

JAMES ED COOPER                    94 CRS 2395

ROBERT LEE CYRUS                    93 CRS 10084

RODNEY ROMBRA EVANS                    93 CRS 2902

MARGARET NORFLEET FAISON             94 CRS 2357

ALLEN PERRIE GAY                    94 CRS 1372

JOSEPH A. GRIFFIN                     93 CRS 10085

CARLTON MOODY HARRIS, SR.            94 CRS 1593

CLINTON LEE HARMON                 94 CRS 5320

CALVIN LEE HILL                    94 CRS 1819

KELLY LORENZA HINES                 93 CRS 9112

MICHAEL LLOYD HOPKINS                93 CRS 7701

PAUL RAY HUGHES                     94 CRS 1555

JAMES ALLEN HUNT                    93 CRS 5810

TYRONE CLEOPAS JAMES                 94 CRS 732

JERRY JOHNSON                        94 CRS 6035

NICOLETTE JOHNSON                     94 CRS 5337

ROY JONES                         94 CRS 3121

TIMOTHY SCOTT JONES                    93 CRS 10033

CHARLES EARL LEWIS                     94 CRS 5335

CHARLIE JUNIOR LEWIS                94 CRS 1823

SHELTON KELSEY LILES                 94 CRS 742

JULIUS THOMAS LITTLE                93 CRS 8752

DAVID TIMOTHY LOCKE                 93 CRS 7680

WILSON JUNIOUS LYNCH                94 CRS 932

MILTON AURLANDER LYONS                 94 CRS 1466

DANIEL E. MCCOLLOUGH                93 CRS 10030

SANDRA WEBB MCKINSEY                 94 CRS 1817

JERYL MCWILLIAMS                    94 CRS 5162

CAROLYN JEAN MILLS                     94 CRS 557

DENNIS EARL MILLS                    93 CRS 7971

IVA NORVESTER PAYTON                93 CRS 8362

DEXTER PITTMAN                     94 CRS 5604

JAMES QUINTON PITTMAN                94 CRS 3946

PAUL PRICE III                     94 CRS 3040

RICKY LEE ROOK                     94 CRS 930

JOHN BRENT SAPP                    93 CRS 5201

BENJAMIN SILVER                     93 CRS 9313

ENOCH SILVER, JR.                    94 CRS 6130

CARLTON F. SMALL                     94 CRS 409

RICKEY ALSTON SPRAGLEY                94 CRS 5806

JOHN ALBERT STALLINGS                 93 CRS 7124

DEBRA JEAN STANLEY                    93 CRS 7809

JAMES LEROY STATON                     94 CRS 405

JAMES LEROY STATON                    94 CRS 2092

ANDREW LEANDER TAYLOR                 94 CRS 1247

NATHANIEL THORPE, JR.                93 CRS 6804

ELLIS CRAIG VAUGHAN                 94 CRS 7526

BENJAMIN WEAVER                    94 CRS 2602

BRUCE GRAHAM WEST, JR.                 94 CRS 740

JIMMIE DEE WHITFIELD                94 CRS 2222

MICHAEL DEARINE WIGGINS                 94 CRS 6145

DEBORAH ANN ZAZZARETTI                94 CRS 935

    

    Defendant-Appellees.

    Appeal by State from orders entered 22 May 1995 by Judge Richard B. Allsbrook in Halifax County Superior Court. Heard in the Court of Appeals 16 May 1996.

    Attorney General Michael F. Easley, by Special Deputy Attorney General Isaac T. Avery, III, for the State.

    Hux, Livermon & Armstrong, L.L.P., by James S. Livermon, Jr., for defendant-appellees.

    MARTIN, Mark D., Judge.

    The State of North Carolina appeals from the trial court's orders granting defendants' motions to suppress the results of their intoxilyzer tests, or their refusal to submit to chemical analysis.

    In each of the cases the parties stipulated to the following pertinent facts:

    1.    The charging officer . . . observed the defendant operating a motor vehicle on a public highway . . . .

    2.    The charging officer had reasonable grounds to believe that defendant had committed an implied consent offense.

    3.    Defendant was arrested . . . by the charging officer for an implied consent offense.

    4.    Charging officer transported defendant to a breathalyzer or intoxilyzer room for the purpose of requesting [defendant] to submit to a chemical analysis of his breath.

    5.    The charging officer advised defendant of his rights enumerated in G.S. 20-16.2(a).

    6.    The charging officer is a certified chemical analyst in accordance with G.S. 20-139.1.

    7.    The charging officer requested defendant to submit to a chemical analysis of his breath.

        . . . .

Fifty defendants submitted to chemical analysis, while nine defendants refused chemical analysis. It is also stipulated that those defendants who submitted to chemical analysis were tested by the Intoxilyzer Model 5000.

    Defendants moved to suppress either the results of, or the refusal to submit to, chemical analysis on the grounds a chemical analyst, other than the charging officer, did not advise defendants of their statutory rights under N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-16.2(a) (1993) (statutory rights). The trial court granted the motions to suppress.

    The sole issue on appeal is whether N.C. Gen. Stat. § 20-16.2(a) requires an officer, other than the charging officer, to advise defendants of their statutory rights in order for the State to admit into evidence, at the criminal prosecution for driving while impaired (DWI), the results of, or refusal to submit to, chemical analysis.

    At the outset we note defendants ground their motions to dismiss solely on an alleged procedural defect in the notification of their statutory rights. This alleged procedural defect occurred, if at all, prior to the time defendants elected whether or not to submit to chemical analysis. It follows therefore that the factual distinction between the defendants who submitted to chemical analysis and those who refused such analysis is without legal consequence to the resolution of the present issue.

    Section 20-16.2(a), as defendants contend, governs the procedures for notifying a person charged with an implied consent offense of their statutory rights with respect to chemical analysis. State v. Oliver, No. 378PA95, slip op. at 13 (N.C. Supreme Court May 10, 1996); Nicholson v. Killens, 116 N.C. App. 473, 478, 448 S.E.2d 542, 544-545 (1994), supersedeas and disc. review denied, 339 N.C. 614, 454 S.E.2d 256 (1995). Indeed, the Supreme Court recently considered whether section 20-16.2(a) mandates suppression of the results of a defendant's Intoxilyzer 5000 test where the arresting officer, rather than another officer, informed defendant of his statutory rights. See Oliver, No. 378PA95, slip op. at 11-16. See also Bivens v. Cottle, 120 N.C. App. 467, 468, 462 S.E.2d 829, 830 (1995) (judicial decision is presumed to apply retroactively, especially where it clarifies an area of the law), disc. review allowed, ___ N.C. ___, 467 S.E.2d 898 (1996).

    In Oliver, the charging officer, a certified chemical analyst, advised defendant of his rights as provided under section 20-16.2(a). Oliver, No. 378PA95, slip op. at 2. Defendant submitted to chemical analysis of his breath by an Intoxilyzer 5000 which established his alcohol concentration was 0.08. Id. At trial, defendant filed a motion to suppress the result of the Intoxilyzer 5000 test on the ground the charging officer, rather than another officer, advised defendant of his rights under section 20-16.2(a). Oliver, No. 378PA95, slip op. at 2-3.

    The Supreme Court, construing section 20-16.2(a), concluded "that the legislature intended to permit a qualified arresting officer to notify defendant of his rights, orally and in writing, regarding a chemical analysis of the breath . . . ." Oliver, No. 378PA95, slip op. at 15. "Indeed, logic dictates that if an arresting officer is duly qualified and authorized to administer a chemical analysis of the breath, such arresting officer should also be duly qualified to notify defendant of his rights regarding that test, and a defendant's rights cannot be impaired by such notification." Id.

    Likewise, in the present case, the charging officers, each certified chemical analysts, advised the defendants of their statutory rights. Therefore, under Oliver, we find no procedural defect in the notification defendants received regarding their statutory rights. Accordingly, we reverse the trial court's orders granting defendants' motions to suppress and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

    Reversed and remanded.

    Judges JOHNSON and LEWIS concur.

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