Reckless Driving Dinwiddie Lawyer Breath Test Virginia Code 18.2-266 Violation
Franklin v. Commonwealth
After the Circuit Court of the Dinwiddie County Virginia, ruled that evidence that a breath test was offered to defendant would be permitted, but directed the granting of a limiting instruction as to the use of that evidence, a jury convicted defendant of driving under the influence of alcohol in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266, and reckless driving in violation of Va. Code Ann. § 46.2-862. Defendant appealed.
- Whether trial court erred in admitting testimony that he was offered a preliminary breath test and following his arrest, a breath test?
Defendant argued that the trial court erred in admitting testimony that he was offered a preliminary breath test, and, following his arrest, a breath test. The Commonwealth, citing Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-267(C), (E), 18.2-268.10, conceded that the trial court erred in admitting this testimony. However, the appellate court found that any error in admitting that evidence was harmless. Under Va. Code Ann. § 4.1-100, “intoxicated” meant a condition in which a person had drunk enough alcoholic beverages to observably affect his manner, disposition, speech, muscular movement, general appearance, or behavior. There was overwhelming evidence that defendant drove while intoxicated. The evidence at trial proved that defendant drove his car at a reckless speed and that, when stopped, he had an odor of alcohol about his breath, red and glassy eyes, and slurred speech, and performed poorly on field sobriety tests. From the totality of the evidence heard by the jury, excluding the officer’s testimony that he offered breath tests to defendant, the trial court’s error in admitting evidence that defendant was offered breath tests was harmless error.
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Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.