When a driver consents to a test of alcohol level during a DUI/DWI investigation, how are the results to be used in any prosecution? Whether you use the test results performed by law enforcement or your own independent test, KSA 8-1005 gives guidance in Kansas Courts on how a Judge or Jury is to weigh any test results. Obviously, the DUI/DWI statute will state what the per se illegal level of alcohol is to have, but this statute also shows us that any relevant test results may be admitted and that if you are over the legal limit, it is prime evidence that you were operating a vehicle while under the influence. This statute also guides a Judge or Jury on how to consider possible test results that might be under the legal limit and test results for drugs in a person’s system.
How is this used by the prosecution? Some DUI/DWI cases might have an alcohol result where, for whatever reason, the results show a driver was under the legal limit, but the prosecutor is still convinced a DUI/DWI occurred. This statute helps guide prosecutors in showing how their test result can be used along with any other evidence they would like to present to convince a Judge or Jury. Also, when the test results are above the legal limit, this statute is a powerful tool in guiding a Judge or Jury on what to do with test result numbers they may not understand.
For the defense, this statute makes their job a bit more difficult. Besides the prime evidence aspect, it helps a prosecutor admit most relevant test results that a defense attorney may not want admitted at all. Also making their defense more difficult, it allows a Judge ot Jury to consider any evidence in combination with a test result. While a test result, for example, showing a driver was under the legal limit alone may not be convincing, this same test result coupled with a video of a driver swerving all over the road could change someone’s mind alltogether.
See if your state has a similar statute on the use or admission of DUI/DWI test results. Until next time, drive safe.