The Supreme Court’s recent decision in State v. Spell appears to have created bad law for the defense. The issue in Spell was whether or not a police officer had to read the second paragraph of the refusal form in all instances. The Appellate Division concluded that this was always a requirement even when an accused unequivocally refuses to provide a breath test. The Supreme Court disagreed, concluding that the second and final warning need not be read where an accused “either conditionally consents or ambiguously declines to provide a breath sample.”
I candidly see little logic to this ruling. Why the Court sees no need to impose the minimum requirement of taking a minute to read a final warning is beyond me. It certainly seems that this is only reasonable given the mandatory penalties associated with a refusal.