This bill, as described below, revises various provisions regarding the certification and reporting of blood drug and alcohol tests under present law regarding DUIs.
Under present law regarding DUIs, after the procurement of a sample of a person's blood for the purpose of conducting a test to determine the alcohol content, drug content, or both, of the blood, the sample must be forwarded to the TBI director's office for analysis. The chief medical examiner or the examiner's representative must execute a certificate that indicates the name of the accused, the date, time and by whom the specimen was received and examined, and a statement of the alcohol concentration or presence of drugs in the specimen. The results of any such blood alcohol or drug test must be reported in writing by the person making the test, and the report must have noted on it the time at which the sample analyzed was obtained from the person.
This bill requires "the TBI director or the director's representative," instead of "the chief medical examiner or the medical examiner's representative," to execute such certificate. This bill adds that such certificate must also include other information to identify the case or sample tested. If the report described above is prepared by the TBI, then it must be attached to the certificate and the certificate must certify whether the report is the record it purports to be.
Under present law, the certificate, when duly attested by the TBI director or the director's representative, is admissible in any court and in any criminal proceeding, as evidence of the facts therein stated, and of the results of the test, if the person taking or causing to be taken the specimen and the person performing the test of the specimen will be available, if subpoenaed as witnesses, upon demand by either party to the cause, or, when unable to appear as witnesses, will submit a deposition upon demand by either party to the cause.
This bill rewrites the above provision to instead specify that the certificate and report described above, when duly attested by the TBI director, or the director's duly appointed representative, would be admissible in any court and in any criminal proceeding, as evidence of the facts therein stated, and of the results of the test, if the district attorney or other party seeking to introduce the certification and report has served the defendant's attorney of record, or the defendant if pro se, with notice of intent to introduce the certificate and report into evidence without calling as a witness the director, director's representative, or a person responsible for performing or observing the analysis and results contained in the report. A copy of this certification and report must be attached to a notice, and such notice must contain a plain statement that the defendant's failure to object to the notice in writing within 10 days of receipt of the notice would result in forfeiture of the right to confront and cross examine the persons responsible for preparing the report. If the notice is filed and accompanied by a certificate of service that complies with the Tennessee Rules of Criminal Procedure (TRCP), the defendant would be rebuttably presumed to have received the notice no later than three days after the date of filing.