Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Light at the End of the Tunnel?

I heard about this opinion a week ago, but the whirl of excitement just seems to keep growing so i figure I gotta say something.

It's a District Court opinion, and I don't think it's available anywhere other than people passing it around.  Came from Judge Stegner, the only district court judge in the second circuit, pitch hitting for first circuit judges.

Basically, someone up North said that the Standard Operating Procedures that the Idaho State Police puts out are worthless (true) and that the law requires that a method be adopted (true) and so there's no method (true) so the state cannot get in its breath test result (tru- wait what).

Well bugger all but the good judge agreed.  After tearing apart the ISPs misuse of the power granted by the legislature in I.C. section 18-8004(4), he simply said enough is enough, the legislature cannot assign the admissibility of evidence to the executive and thus allow the executive to get in whatever it wants at a criminal trial.

Oh, and fuck you.

Shouldn't this mean the state can still call an expert to get it in if they can convince a judge it's acceptable?

No I'm really asking.  The opinion seems to say no, but I don't see why, other than to say "You know what, you're just going to bring the ISP expert to get it in, and that guy wrote the SOPs, and so fuck him, fuck your breath test results, and fuck you."

And I'm totally ok with that.  In any case, it's nice to see a Judge agree that the status quo in DUI cases is not even close to Due Process.

Three cheers for Judge Stegner!  Let's hope the Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals doesn't tear this thing apart.

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