JACKSON – The Mississippi Supreme Court has agreed to hear a DUI case that revolves around the timing and results of her blood alcohol test.
The Supreme Court last week agreed to review the case of Mary Reed Evans. The state Court of Appeals overturned Evans’ conviction in November. The attorney general’s office petitioned the Supreme Court to hear the case.
Evans was convicted in Monroe County Justice Court of first offense DUI. She lost an appeal to Circuit Court in 2007.
According to the court record, Evans drank four beers and ate at a Tupelo restaurant between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. on July 19, 2006. She was stopped on the way home about 12:50 a.m. for DUI after a portable Intoxilyzer test.
However, it was 1:58 a.m. before a blood alcohol test was given to her at the sheriff’s department. She registered 0.09 percent – over legal limit of 0.08 percent.
In circuit court, Evans wanted an expert to testify about the theory of retrograde extrapolation, but prosecutors opposed the move. The judge refused to allow the testimony.
Retrograde extrapolation is determining whether a person was drunk at a certain moment, based on results of a test given hours later.
The Court of Appeals ordered a new trial for Evans in which she would be allowed to pursue the retrograde extrapolation argument.
Evans’ attorney, Josh Stevens of West Point, has said that to be driving while intoxicated, the key point is not when the test is taken but what the BAC was when a motorist was driving.
Stevens said any time there is lag from the time a motorist is stopped to the time they take the test, there is a question that arises about the BAC result.
In Evans’ case, a chemical test at the sheriff’s department proved only that Evans was legally intoxicated at the sheriff’s department, according to court documents.
Evans claimed that her expert would show that from the time she was stopped by law enforcement officers until the time of the blood alcohol test, Evans’ BAC was rising. It would have been lower if the test were taken earlier, she contends.
DUI attorneys have said Mississippi is an “at-the-time-of-driving” state.
The Associated Press