VIEWPOINT - 24 Hour Suspension Unfair to the Novice Driver
In the section 215 of the MVA, there is a “way out” for the driver being served the 24 hour suspension. The section 215(6) reads as follows:
(6) If a driver, who is served with a notice of driving prohibition under subsection (2), forthwith requests a peace officer to administer and does undergo as soon as practicable a test that indicates that his or her blood alcohol level does not exceed 50 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood, the prohibition from driving is terminated.
The novice driver does not really fit the “description” of “driver” in this section because blowing below .05 does not prevent a prohibition from driving (as stated), perhaps a 24 hour, but not a 12 hour suspension. If the Novice driver requests a roadside test, and is below .05, would he/she be free to go? As a Novice driver you are not allowed ANY alcohol in your system. So what happens then? If ANY alcohol is detected by a roadside test, a 12 hour suspension is mandatory at that point, according to 90.3 of MVA and the OSMV. If the officer does not give a 12 hour at that point (up to the officers discretion) then the law is not complied with.
How can a section of the motor vehicle act, designed for “regular” drivers, be used on a Novice driver in the GLP? Novice drivers can prove innocence by asking for a roadside test and blowing below .05, (getting off the 24 hour suspension) but in doing so, incriminate themselves to show alcohol in their system and receive another charge….the 12 hour suspension and further review by the OSMV. Because the driver is a Novice driver, it should be the officer’s responsibility to request the roadside test.
So how can a decision to uphold a 24 hour suspension use the reasons WITHIN that section that WILL NOT provide “innocence” or make any difference to the Novice driver? A catch 22 because getting a 12 hour or 24 hour suspension for the Novice has the same ramifications. A further review by the OSMV and loss of his/her license.
And, what if the driver had time between the accident and talking to the police to drink some alcohol? That changes things all together. Why is there a section like 90.3 then, if the Novice driver can fall under section 215? There must be a reason. Would it be that a Novice driver can “get away” with a 24 hour suspension by requesting and blowing below .05, but will get “nailed” with a 12 hour suspension by showing ANY alcohol in their system. Oh, there’s that catch 22 again, they both have the same ramifications. Perhaps the police should START with a 12 hour suspension procedure when stopping a Novice driver, and working up from there!