November 20, 2013

DUI breath-test expert testimony decision filing tomorrow

The Supreme Court tomorrow will file its opinion in People v. Vangelder.  The issue in that case is:  Did the trial court prejudicially err in refusing to allow expert testimony about the accuracy of the breath-testing devices used in this case?  The appellate division of the San Diego Superior Court said “no,” but Division One of the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed in a published opinion.

Two interesting facts about this case.  First, somewhat uncommonly, the decision to grant review was not unanimous; Justices Kennard and Liu did not vote to hear the case.  Second, more than a year after briefing was complete, the court asked for supplemental briefing, inquiring as to the effect, if any, of various federal and state regulations regarding breath-testing machines.

Vangelder will be the Supreme Court’s first opinion in the cases argued in October.

The opinion can be viewed online tomorrow beginning at 10:00 a.m.

Leave a Reply