Justices Ruled That A Blood Test Was Admissible Evidence Following A DUI Crash Resulting In Death Of 6 People

A DUI involves some kind of testing to determine if a driver is intoxicated. The breathalyzer or PAS test administered on the side of the road is usually not admissible in court. Another type of breathalyzer is given at the police station, which is admissible. Refusal to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest could lead to stiffer penalties if convicted. In cases where an accident believed to have been caused by a DUI, blood is usually drawn at the hospital. Prosecutors can use that blood test against a person in court as a part of the “implied consent” law in California. 

KFI AM 640 reports that an appeal has been denied for a woman who pleaded no contest in a wrong-way DUI crash that killed six people.

On February 26th, a state appellate court rejected the appeal of Olivia Carolee Culbreath. Culbreath is currently serving a 30-years-to-life prison sentence for a February 9th, 2014 crash that killed six people, including her friend and her sister.

A three-justice panel from California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal rejected the premise presented by the defense that the blood drawn, taken while Culbreath was unconscious, was not admissible.

The panel stated in its 12-page ruling that the blood draw under the circumstances was warranted given the circumstances of the crash. Her blood-alcohol level two hours after the crash was 0.15%, nearly twice the legal limit.

Culbreath pleaded no contest to six counts of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated in May 2018.

She will be eligible for parole after she serves 25 years of her sentence.

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