Saturday, June 2, 2012

Unsworn California DUI reports or San Diego drunk driving-related reports not made at or near the time of the event – whether blood test report or DUI arrest report – are not lawfully admissible and may not be used as a basis to suspend one's license, attorneys remind

California DMV hearing officers are told by Sacramento to rule on documentary objections in license suspension (APS) hearings, relying on Glatman v. Valverde and MacDonald v. Gutierrez, San Diego County DUI Law Center's attorney Rick Mueller notes in this publication featuring DMV's own APS hearing manual.

California's Glatman case involved one's blood drawn 1 hour after a DUI arrest, a blood sample analyzed same day as arrest & a day later retested by another forensic alcohol analyst. The analyst's certification of the blood test results revealed it was dated 1 week after the blood was drawn. The California court ruled the blood report was not prepared at or near the time of the analysis, an absolute prerequisite for admissibility of the drunk driving test record as a legal exception to the hearsay rule per section 1280(b) of California's Evidence Code. Therefore, the DUI report was not allowed to be used as evidence to prove the driver's blood alcohol content.

Another DUI court notes, in addition to the officer’s sworn DUI statement, California DMV can also use another accompanying unsworn report if it meet the conditions for admissibility (under California Evidence Code section 1280).

In sum, an unsworn San Diego or California DUI report not legally admissible may not be used to supplement or explain the officer’s sworn statement.

Rationale: unsworn California or San Diego drunk driving-related reports not made at or near the time of the event – whether blood test report or DUI arrest report – are not lawfully admissible.