Wednesday, March 27, 2013

KY COA - Burton - Expert Testimony - DRE

 The Commonwealth appealed the trial court’s refusal to allow the testimony of Dr. Greg Davis as to whether or not the defendant’s behavior after the car wreck was consistent with intoxication.  The Court of Appeals, in a to-be-published opinion, held the trial court did not abuse its discretion in disallowing Dr. Davis’ testimony because his opinion as to the defendant’s behavior was equivocal—the defendant’s behavior was consistent with drug use, or trauma, or both.

The Commonwealth also sought to use the testimony of a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) to explain to the jury the factors it uses to determine if someone is impaired.  The COA held the trial court did not abuse its discretion because the DRE did not personally observe the defendant nor did the DRE subject defendant to drug recognition testing.  
Margot Merrill argued the case before the trial court and Shannon Smith briefed the case on appeal. 

Contributed by Jason Apollo Hart