A recent action by the U.S. Supreme Court is being hailed by a top San Diego lawyer as a “major victory in the war against drunk driving in California.”
The case resulted from a DUI defense calling into question the overall reliability of breath testing. The result was the California Supreme Court stating that the “[D]efendant remained free to argue, and present evidence, that the particular machines used in this case malfunctioned, or that they were improperly calibrated or employed. But the fundamental reliability of the breath-testing models used in this case to produce results that are pertinent to the [§23152(b)] has been determined by the Legislature. That legislative determination is not subject to rebuttal as a defense in a criminal prosecution.”
Thus, the California Supreme Court ruled that a defendant facing DUI charges with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher could not call an expert witness to challenge the overall reliability of breath-alcohol testing devices. The decision was unanimous. The Justices concluded that these types of instruments are regularly used by law enforcement to test a driver’s ability, thus are reliable.
The lawyer who argued the case, Jan Goldsmith, stated that “driving under the influence claims thousands of lives each year…our office prosecuted more than 5,500 DUI cases last year…” Steve Lykins, executive director of Mothers Against Drunk Driving in San Diego, also hailed the decision, stating that it “is a victory for all those impacted by impaired drivers, including those injured or killed.” DUI is clearly a problem. Thus, using all available weapons, like breath testing, the state can better try and convict those who break the law.
As Lykins stated, the Supreme Court ruling is a victory for those impacted by drunk drivers. Utilizing all available tools, law enforcement are better able to catch, build a case against, and prosecute those who break DUI laws.
Those who are harmed by the negligent action of drunk drivers also have legal aid. The law allows those injured by drunk drivers to seek compensation for damages. These damages can include medical expenses and costs, loss of income due to the inability to work because of injuries and pain and suffering. Utilizing the services of professional personal injury attorneys, like those at Gilleon Law Group in San Diego, you can seek compensation for the impact of another individual’s poor choices.