CAV GRANTS REHEARING IN BLOOD CERTIFICATE CASE

The Court of Appeals has granted an en banc rehearing in Luginbyhl v. Commonwealth, which raises the issue of whether a blood alcohol certificate constitutes inadmissible hearsay in a criminal prosecution.  A split panel of the court had affirmed the conviction in August, ruling that neither the test results nor the certificate showing that the test machine was properly calibrated were inadmissible.  The grant of rehearing will enable the full court to consider this issue in light of Crawford v. Washington, 541 US 36 (2004), which invalidated most of the traditionally accepted exceptions to the hearsay rule in criminal cases.

The case will now be briefed anew, and argued to the full court later this term, most likely in the late winter or spring of 2006.  (The court has not yet posted its argument calendar for next year.)