June 27, 2003 - Posted at: 12:34 p.m. CDT
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The Arkansas Court of Appeals says prosecutors need blood-alcohol test results to prosecute drunken-driving cases.
In a ruling Thursday, the court said that even though a state trooper testified that a driver smelled of alcohol, a driving-while-intoxicated conviction shouldn't stand without the blood-alcohol test evidence.
The decision reverses and dismisses Justin Porter's third DWI conviction. The man was prosecuted after a one-car accident early on the morning of May 20, 2001.
At Porter's trial in Baxter County Circuit Court, the results of two blood-alcohol tests taken at a hospital in Mountain Home were admitted as evidence, the appeals court said.
The first, taken about a half-hour after the accident, showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.0940 percent, while the second, taken two hours later, showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.05 percent. Neither test exceeded the 0.10 percent limit that state law at the time declared proof of intoxication.