State v. Wilbur-Bobb

141 P.3d 665 (2006)

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State v. Wilbur-Bobb

Washington Court of Appeals
141 P.3d 665 (2006)

Facts

Sandra Wilbur-Bobb (defendant) had been out drinking with friends prior to driving her car off the road and flipping it. One of the passengers in the car died in the accident. The accident occurred at approximately 5:30 a.m. Wilbur-Bobb’s blood-alcohol level was tested at 9:41 a.m. and showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.05, below the legal limit of 0.08. The prosecution (plaintiff) charged Wilbur-Bobb with vehicular homicide. The key issue at trial was whether Wilbur-Bobb was intoxicated at the time of the accident. The prosecution introduced Wilbur-Bobb’s blood-alcohol test and the expert testimony of Estuardo Miranda. Miranda used the theory of retrograde extrapolation to estimate that Wilbur-Bobb’s blood-alcohol content had been between 0.092 and 0.156—above the legal limit—at the time of the accident. Wilbur-Bobb objected to the foundation for the testimony, focusing on Miranda’s qualifications as an expert witness. The court overruled the objection. Wilbur-Bobb was convicted, and she appealed. On appeal, Wilbur-Bobb argued that retrograde extrapolation was not generally accepted in the scientific community as required by the Frye test.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Becker, J.)

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