Evidence Admission of DUI in D.C.
Generally, all observations made by the arresting police officer at the time of the arrest are admissible. This includes the videotape of the traffic stop from the police officer’s dashboard camera, erratic driving, physical evidence of the presence of alcohol in the vehicle, slurred speech, and a chemical blood test, among other things. Some forms of inadmissible evidence include improperly administered field tests and any results from an unapproved, unlicensed, or expired breath test operator. More often however, if the arresting officer had no reasonable suspicion or probable cause any evidence that was obtained would be inadmissible.
The preliminary breath test is inadmissible as evidence by the District in the prosecution of the offender, as proscribed by DC §50-2201.05. However, the same statute that prohibits evidence of the preliminary breath test to be admissible in the prosecution of the offender, allows evidence of the preliminary breath test to be admissible in any judicial or other proceeding in which the validity of the arrest or the conduct of the officer is an issue. The second breath test which is administered at the police station is, on the other hand, admissible in a DWI prosecution so long as the machine was certified as accurate within last three months and test was conducted according to manufacturer’s specifications; government need not also establish that methodology used by test is generally accepted in scientific community.
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