Reckless Driving Virginia Traffic Ticket Alcosensor Breath Test Lawyers Roanoke County

Reckless Driving Virginia Traffic Ticket Alcosensor Breath Test Lawyers Roanoke County

NICHOLS BATA V. COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
Facts:

Defendant sought review of the judgment of the Circuit Court of Roanoke County, which convicted him of Reckless Driving under the influence of alcohol. Defendant contended that the trial court erred by allowing the Commonwealth to introduce evidence of the results of a preliminary alcosensor breath test.

Reckless Driving Virginia Traffic Ticket Alcosensor Breath Test Lawyers Roanoke County

Reckless Driving Virginia Traffic Ticket Alcosensor Breath Test Lawyers

Issue:
  • Whether the trial court erred by permitting the Commonwealth to introduce evidence of the results of a preliminary alcosensor breath test?
Discussion:

The court finds that at trial, the Commonwealth introduced into evidence a certificate of refusal signed by Nichols. Nichols testified that he refused the test because he had performed well on the field test. To rebut that testimony the Commonwealth was permitted to introduce over Nichols’ objection the results of the preliminary alcosensor field test which showed a blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% present. The Commonwealth specifically proffered the results, and the trial court limited their admission, to rebut Nichols’ testimony regarding the reason for refusing to submit to a blood or breath test. Although alcosensor results are otherwise inadmissible, Nichols opened the door for such admission by testifying that he had performed “fine” on the field test, thereby urging the court to find that he had acted reasonably. Since the evidence was admitted for the limited purpose to rebut Nichols’ claim that he had done “fine” on the test and thus that his refusal was reasonable, and not to prove that he drove under the influence, the trial court properly admitted the evidence and did not consider it for an improper purpose.

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Article written by A Sris

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Disclaimer:

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.