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Showing posts from August, 2013

Circumstantial Evidence May Be Used to Bolster Blood Alcohol Test Results

The California Court of Appeals recently decided Coffey v. Shimoto, a case regarding rising blood alcohol after an arrest for DUI and the admissible evidence at a DMV administrative hearing regarding a license suspension.

In the case, Ms. Coffey was arrested for DUI. An hour later, she took a breathalizer test with a test result of .08 percent BAC.A few minutes later, her BAC test result was .09 %.Twenty-five minutes later, she took a blood test, which resulted in a BAC of .095 percent. DMV suspended her license after a hearing at which the arresting officer testified that Ms. Coffey had driven “erratically,” appeared intoxicated, and had the usual script of bloodshot watery eyes, strong odor of alcohol, and poor performance on Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs).

She challenged DMV’s decision with a writ of mandate and argued that uncontroverted expert testimony showed that her BAC had been rising (as evidenced by the three test results).While the Court agreed with Coffey that the uncontradicte…