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Oregon Supreme Court, November 21, 2019

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by: Rankin Johnson • November 21, 2019 • no comments


Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

EVIDENCE - Inferences and sufficiency

Evidence of .09 BAC two hours after driving is not sufficient, without more, to support conviction for DUII. Court of Appeals affirmed, trial court reversed.

The court rejected defendant's argument that inferred facts must follow in the form of a logical syllogism, and also rejected the state's argument that BAC change over time was 'common knowledge.' Because alcohol absorption and dissipation is complex and affected by many factors, the bare knowledge that alcohol dissipates was not enough to bridge the gap.

Balmer, dissenting, would have held that the evidence was sufficient to permit a finder of fact to infer that defendant's BAC had been at least .08 when he drove.

State v. Hedgpeth 365 Or App 724 (November 21, 2019) (Flynn, Balmer dissenting) (Coos County, Barron)