By Associated Press - Saturday, February 24, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico State Supreme Court has overturned a lower court and ruled that police don’t have to help drunken-driving suspects arrange to exercise their right under state law to have an independent blood-alcohol test.

The decision Thursday stems from Stefan Chakerian’s 2008 arrest by Albuquerque police and says police only must advise suspects of their right to have a test and not interfere with exercising the right.

An officer provided Chakerian with access to a phone, a telephone directory and a pen, but Chakerian testified he didn’t arrange an independent test because too much time had passed and he didn’t know whom to call.

The Supreme Court’s decision overturns a Court of Appeals ruling that said police must “meaningfully cooperate” with a suspect’s desire to have an independent test.

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