How does DMV get away with not calling the officer to testify?


After an arrest for DUI the police officer gives the individual arrested a pink sheet of paper called a temporary license.  After an arrest you have 10 days to contact DMV to preserve your right to a hearing in order to keep your license from getting suspended.

At the hearing, the DMV hearing officer will present evidence against you to prove 1) the officer had reasonable cause to believe you were DUI, 2) the officer lawfully arrested you, and 3) that you had a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.

You would think the DMV hearing officer would be required to call your accuser (police officer) to testify in order to prove those things.  Unfortunately they don’t.  Sometimes it is fortunate they don’t if the police officer has screwed up on the paperwork.

The particular paperwork I am talking about is called a DS367.  This is a DMV document the hearing officer uses to prove the items previously discussed. Courts have ruled that as long as the police officer has signed the report attesting to its accuracy, then it is not necessary for the police officer to testify.  It is likely the courts lightened the evidential requirements because the DMV hearing officers do not the same level of legal education that attorneys or judges do.  There could have been other considerations by the courts, but they need not be discussed in this blog.

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