Blood-alcohol test results can be crucial to the success of a motor vehicle case. Admission of those results, however, will depend upon their relevance. § 316.1934(2), Fla. Stat. (2011) provides:
[U]pon the trial of any civil or criminal action or proceeding arising out of acts alleged to have been committed by any person while driving, or in actual physical control of, a vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances, when affected to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired or to the extent that he was deprived of full possession of his normal faculties, the results of any test administered in accordance with section 316.1932 or section 316.1933 and this section shall be admissible into evidence when otherwise admissible . . . .
§ 316.1934(2) also sets forth various legal presumptions associated with different blood-alcohol levels. For example, pursuant to § 316.1934(2)(a), a person with a blood-alcohol level of .05 or below is presumed “not to be under the influence of alcoholic beverages to the extent that his normal faculties were impaired.” These legal presumptions are rebuttable and a party may attack the reliability of the testing procedures, the qualifications of the analyst and the standards used in determining the different levels of intoxication.
Significantly, the test results must be relevant to be admissible. See § 90.402, Fla. Stat. (2011). A test result is relevant if it indicates the amount of alcohol consumed effected a driver’s “reactions and perceptions.” Grant v. Brown, 429 So. 2d 1229 (Fla. 5th DCA 1983), cert. denied., 438 So.2d 1229 (Fla. 1983). Grant involved a claim for personal injuries arising out of an automobile accident. The defendant failed to stop at a stop sign and collided with Grant in the intersection. Grant was driving within the speed limit and had the right of way. While in the emergency room, the hospital staff took blood samples as part of its treatment effort and Grant’s blood-alcohol level was .064. An expert testified that Grant’s blood-alcohol level would have been .109, at the least, and .124, at the most, at the time of the accident. The defendant cited his expert’s testimony and argued that plaintiff’s “reactions and perceptions were not as sharp as they should have been, and that, had he not been affected by alcohol, he could have avoided or minimized the accident.” The court noted that the test results were extremely damaging and represented the “only evidence of any contributory negligence.” Nevertheless, the court admitted the test results as hospital records. The court held that “driver impairment because of alcoholic consumption is a factor the jury was entitled to weigh and consider.”
The presumptions found in § 316.1934(2), Fla. Stat. could illustrate the correlation between the test results and the alcohol’s effect on a driver’s reactions and perceptions. The admission will also hinge upon an expert’s interpretation of the test results and whether the results demonstrate a driver’s impairment at the time of the accident.
If you, or someone you know, have been injured as the result of negligence, medical malpractice or a dangerous or defective product, contact me at (305) 358-3109 or email@example.com today for a free evaluation of your claim.
I think this is one of the most significant information for
me. And i am glad reading your article. But want to remark on few general things, The web site style is perfect,
the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers
Hi to all, the contents existing at this website are actually
awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the
good work fellows.
Common sense dictates that you understand the ingredients for success
before you commit time and money to your project. Learn how to maintain and repair
your own equipment- this will save you both time and money.
If you are an advanced individual with vast knowledge for computers, you can
purchase an advanced lawn mowing software.
If you are going for best contents like I do, only pay a visit this site all the time
since it presents feature contents, thanks
I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and reporting!
Keep up the great works guys I’ve included you guys to my
A short term renter slipped and broke her ankle at our home. I believe alcohol may have been a contributing factor to the fall. How do we get access to the ER records to see if a blood alcohol level was done (almost assuredly or they would not be able to medicate her), and if not done how to we get them to do one (they likely still have the blood samples)?