Supreme Court Reviews License Revocation Statute

Rowland v. DMV requests decision on affidavits

A case currently before the Colorado Supreme Court promises to determine what is admissible evidence in driver’s license revocation hearings. Oral arguments heard in the case of Brian Rowland v. Department of Motor Vehicles last week boiled down to the interpretation of state statute 42-2-126(8)(c), which Colorado deputy solicitor general Glenn Roper called “a rule of inclusion, not exclusion.” The court will decide whether section 8c requires evidence from non-law enforcement sources to be in affidavit form and sworn to under penalty of perjury, including an address, phone number, date and signature.

According to the Court of Appeals opinion, Brian Rowland was pulled over in 2014 after a police officer observed him crossing the yellow dividing line and driving at inconsistent speeds. The officer smelled alcohol and noted his speech was slurred.

Rowland told the officer he had one beer when asked if he had been drinking. During the stop, he failed to perform during a roadside sobriety test, and was arrested for driving under the influence.

Under Colorado’s implied consent law, the officer gave Rowland a choice between a breath or blood test, and Rowland chose a blood test. An EMT drew a sample of blood at the police station under the officer’s supervision. The sample was delivered by the officer to ChemaTox, a private laboratory to conduct the blood alcohol analysis. Rowland’s blood alcohol content came back as 0.158, nearly twice the legal limit.

To read this story and other complete articles featured in the September 25, 2017 print edition of Law Week Colorado, copies are available for purchase online.