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DUI Law: Title 17 & Major DUI Case Law in California

Case Law in California (Adams, Bury and Williams)

People v. Adams, 59 Cal. App. 3d 559 (1976), allowed the results of a breath test into evidence despite a failure to comply with Title 17.

People v. Bury, 41 Cal. App. 4th (1996), allowed the results of preliminary breath testing devices to come in with full evidentiary value.

People v. Williams, the Third Appellate District reviewed Adams and Bury, the court held in Williams case to review an objection to foundational admissibility of the breath tests, neither Bury nor Adams discussed that issue.

In Williams a defendant could challenge the admissibility of test evidence by challenging the foundation. The court stated that once a violation of Title 17 has been demonstrated the burden shifts to the prosecution. These foundational requirements are; (1) the particular apparatus was in proper working order, (2) the test was properly administered, and (3) the operator was competent and qualified.

Title 17

Title 17 defines what is meant by properly working, properly trained and proper administration for foundation of evidence to be used in a DUI case. The court found law enforcement shall follow Title 17 as mandatory.

Blood Test and Title 17

The standard and competency for blood alcohol tests: include compliance with the regulations to establish both a foundation for admission of tests results into evidence in any proceeding and a basis for finding such results to be legally sufficient evidence to support the requisite findings in such proceedings. (People v. Williams)

Breath Test and Title 17

To have foundational requirement for admissibility of a breath test in California, the proponent must show either complete compliance with Title 17, or substantial compliance with Title 17 and scientific acceptability under (People v. Adams)

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