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NCJ Number: 66272 Find in a Library
Title: JUDICIAL OFFICER'S OWN EXPERT KNOWLEDGE WITH BACK CALCULATION
Journal: BLUTALKOHOL  Volume:15  Issue:5  Dated:(1978)  Pages:315-322
Author(s): K JESSNITZER
Corporate Author: Steintor Verlag
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: Steintor Verlag
Hamburg, Germany United
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: WEST GERMAN LEGAL REGULATIONS, PUBLICATIONS, AND COURT DECISIONS CONCERNING THE JUDGE'S ABILITY TO DETERMINE AN OFFENDER'S BLOOD ALCOHOL LEVEL WITHOUT THE HELP OF AN EXPERT ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: ACCORDING TO WEST GERMAN COURT PROCEDURE, JUDGES HAVE TO RELY ON EXPERT INFORMATION WHENEVER THE COURT ITSELF DOES NOT POSSESS SUFFICIENT KNOWLEDGE ON A PARTICULAR SUBJECT. IN TRAFFIC COURTS, THE QUESTION FREQUENTLY ARISES AS TO WHETHER THE JUDGE CAN DETERMINE AN OFFENDER'S BLOOD ALCOHOL CONTENT BY MEANS OF RETROCALCULATION WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF AN EXPERT. ALTHOUGH LEGAL EXPERTS TRADITIONALLY ADVISE THE PRESENCE OF AN EXPERT AT THE TRIAL, RECENT LITERATURE ARGUES THAT, AS A RULE, THE JUDGE CAN MAKE THE DECISION HIMSELF AND NEED ONLY APPEAL TO EXPERTS IN COMPLICATED OR DOUBTFUL CASES. SEVERAL FEDERAL COURT RULINGS SUPPORT THIS OPINION. HOWEVER A 1973 RULING STATES THAT IF A JUDGE DESIRES TO BEGIN HIS RETROCALCULATION BEFORE THE END OF A 2-HOUR RESORPTION PERIOD FOLLOWING THE END OF THE ALCOHOL INGESTION OR IF HE WISHES TO USE A METHOD DIFFERING FROM THE STANDARD RETROCALCULATION PROCEDURE, HE MUST CONSULT WITH AN EXPERT. STATE COURT DECISIONS CONCUR WITH THE FEDERAL RULINGS. THIS OFFICIAL VIEW PRESUPPOSES THAT JUDGES (IN PARTICULAR TRAFFIC JUDGES) POSSESS SUFFICIENT EXPERIENCE TO HANDLE THE SIMPLE CALCULATION PROCESS AND THAT WHERE SUCH EXPERIENCE IS MISSING THEY WILL INFORM THEMSELVES THROUGH AN INFORMAL TELEPHONE CALL TO FORENSIC EXPERTS. IF SEVERAL JUDGES ARE PRESENT AT THE TRIAL, THE EXPERT KNOWLEDGE OF ONLY ONE OF THE JUDGES SUFFICES. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS FOOTNOTES. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Alcohol consumption analysis; Driving Under the Influence (DUI); Expert witnesses; Germany; Judges; Laws and Statutes; Traffic courts
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