DUI Trial Proceeds; Forensic Scientist Testifies to Effects of Alcohol on Driver


By Delilah Hammons

WOODLAND, CA – Bonifacio Cruz, charged Oct. 8 with driving under the influence with an enhancement for refusing a DUI test and driving with a suspended driver’s license, had his second day of trial in Yolo County Superior Court Wednesday in front of Judge Daniel P. Maguire.

The day’s witness was a Senior Criminalist, who works at the Department of Justice in the forensic services laboratory in Sacramento, and explained a “criminalist is commonly known as a forensic scientist, is a person who is concerned with scientific analysis of physical evidence, its interpretation and presentation in court.”

While a forensic scientist can be trained in a lot of different areas, she noted that she’s “qualified in blood alcohol analysis. I’m able to calculate the concentration of alcohol in blood and urine samples along with breath samples as well.”

The witness went into detail about how the device works, and when it needs to be tested to ensure that it is working properly, along with the process that an officer uses before and during the breathalyzer test.

The witness said if someone is too drunk to safely drive, at a 0.19 percent blood alcohol level they can start to show physical signs of impairment, noting “physical signs can be masked, but mental signs cannot.”

The criminalist said, “For a male weighing 185 pounds consuming 40 percent of 25.6 ounces [of vodka] would raise their blood alcohol level to be at a 0.422 percent…13 and half hours later this person would approximately be at 0.02 percent” blood alcohol level.

The trial is set to reconvene Dec 3.


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