Thursday, September 28, 2017

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Declines to Adopt Bright-Line Rule For Admissibility of BAC Evidence

In the case of Coughlin v. Massaquoi, No. 32 EAP 2016 (Pa. Sept. 28, 2017), the Pennsylvania Supreme Court declined to adopt a bright-line rule of predicating the admissibility of a person's blood alcohol content (BAC) on the existence of independent corroborating evidence of intoxication.

Rather, the Supreme Court held that the admissibility of BAC evidence is within the trial court's discretion based upon the general rules of admissibility found in the Pennsylvania Rules of Evidence 401-403, and the trial court's related assessment of whether the evidence establishes the party's unfitness to act.

This case arose out of a motor vehicle versus pedestrian accident.

The Court's Majority Opinion, Concurring Opinion, and Dissenting Opinion can be viewed at this LINK.

I send thanks to Attorney Joseph Hudock of the Pittsburgh office of Summers, McDonnell, Hudock & Guthrie for bringing this case to my attention.

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