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Admissibility of BAC Evidence Requires Proof of Intoxication, by Daniel E. Cummins, TortTalk Blog


(Please contact Daniel Cummins at dancummins@comcast.net if you wish to review a copy of this opinion.)

In his recent February 9, 2015 Opinion in the case of Ritter v. Van Campen Motors, Inc., No. 12-00,379 (C.P. Lycoming Co. Feb. 9, 2015 Anderson, J.), Judge Dudley M. Anderson addressed Motions in Limine pertaining to DUI evidence filed by a Defendant in a motor vehicle accident case.

According to the Opinion, this matter involved a motor vehicle accident during which each party claimed that the other driver crossed the centerline resulting in the fatal accident. Accident reconstruction experts offered by each party came to opposite conclusions.

The Defendant filed a Motion In Limine to preclude evidence that the Defendant driver had a BAC of .257 at the time of the accident as confirmed by an autopsy report, testimony that the Defendant had been drinking prior to driving that day, and evidence that there was beer in the Defendant’s vehicle at the time of the accident. The Defendant contended that the BAC evidence was inadmissible absent proof of intoxication. . . .