Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Villena

Supreme Court of Hawaii

August 15, 2017

STATE OF HAWAI'I, Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
ANTHONY R. VILLENA, Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

         CERTIORARI TO THE INTERMEDIATE COURT OF APPEALS (CAAP-13-0000030; CASE NO. 1DTA-12-01321)

          Phyllis J. Hironaka for Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant.

          Brian R. Vincent for Respondent/Plaintiff-Appellee.

          RECKTENWALD, C.J., NAKAYAMA, McKENNA, POLLACK, AND WILSON, JJ.

          OPINION

          WILSON, J.

         This case arises from Petitioner/Defendant-Appellant Anthony R. Villena's (Villena) conviction for the offense of operating a vehicle under the influence of an intoxicant (OVUII). On appeal, Villena asserts the Intermediate Court of Appeals (ICA) erred in holding that the State laid a sufficient foundation to introduce the results of Villena's blood alcohol test results. Specifically, Villena raises four grounds for the State's failure to lay a sufficient foundation for introduction into evidence of the blood test results:

1. Whether the ICA gravely erred in affirming the trial court's admission of Villena's blood alcohol test result without first requiring the State to (1) introduce its scientific evidence via a duly qualified expert; (2) prove satisfaction of the three Montalbo factors in arriving at the test result; and (3) demonstrate compliance with the Souza requirements for test results produced by an instrument;
2. Whether the ICA gravely erred in affirming the trial court's admission of Villena's blood alcohol test result without first requiring the State to demonstrate strict compliance with HAR §11-114-23(b) and (a) (3) requirements which have a direct bearing on the accuracy of the alcohol test result;
3. Whether the ICA gravely erred in affirming the trial court's admission of State's Exhibit#l (the Letter License) as hearsay, inadmissible under either HRE 803(b)(6) or (8), and in violation of Villena's Confrontation rights; and
4. Whether the ICA gravely erred in ruling that the trial court's erroneous admission of State's Exhibit#2 (MT Perry's Sworn Statements) was mere harmless error.

         We affirm the ICA's judgment and hold that the State laid a proper foundation to introduce the results of Villena's blood test because the State's licensing letter was admissible as nonhearsay.

         I. Background

         A. District Court Proceedings

         On March 6, 2012, Villena was charged by complaint with OVUII, in violation of Hawai'i Revised Statutes (HRS) § 291E-61(a)(4) (2011).[1] Villena pled not guilty to the charge. The bench trial commenced on October 18, 2012, continued on December 6, 2012, and ended on December 19, 2012.[2]

         1. Testimony of Officer Wade Ikehara

         The State presented testimony from Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Officer Wade Ikehara that on February 22, 2012, he observed Villena driving at 75 miles per hour, 25 miles per hour over the speed limit of 50 miles per hour. Officer Ikehara next noticed that Villena's vehicle crossed over the dashed lines separating two of the lanes. Although Officer Ikehara activated his lights, Villena's vehicle did not stop until he reached a DUI roadblock. At the DUI roadblock, Officer Ikehara approached Villena's vehicle and noted that Villena's eyes were "red, bloodshot, and glassy, " his appearance was disheveled, and he detected "a strong odor of an alcoholic type beverage on his breath." Defense counsel stipulated that Villena performed the field sobriety test and Officer Ikehara subsequently made the arrest. Villena was then transported to the Kalihi Police Station.

         At the police station, Officer Ikehara read Villena an implied consent form and Villena elected to take a blood test. Because Villena selected that option, Officer Ikehara transported Villena to the Alapai Police Station to have his blood drawn. Officer Ikehara waited with Villena for 20-30 minutes until the arrival of medical technologist Karla Perry (Perry). Upon her arrival, Officer Ikehara listened to her explain the procedures and observed her withdraw blood from Villena.

         2. Testimony of Medical Technologist Karla Perry

         The State presented testimony from Perry. This testimony was presented out of order, prior to the completion of Officer Ikehara's testimony, due to Perry's scheduling conflicts.

         Perry testified as to her qualifications as a medical technologist. She stated she was employed as a medical technologist with the City and County of Honolulu since 2004. She graduated from the University of Hawai'i at Manoa with a bachelor of science in medical technology, was board certified by the American Society of Clinical Pathologists, and was state certified by the state Department of Health (DOH).

         Perry asserted that she was qualified under Hawai'i Administrative Rules (HAR) Title 11, chapter 114, which regulates blood alcohol testing, to draw blood and perform alcohol analysis. Over defense counsel's objection for lack of foundation, the court allowed the State to lay additional foundation to support Perry's testimony.

         The State sought to lay a foundation for Perry's qualification as a medical technologist under HAR Title 11, chapter 114. Perry explained that Title 11 requires an alcohol analyst or supervisor to be a medical technologist licensed by the state. With her bachelor of science degree and as a state-licensed medical technologist, Perry asserted that she fulfilled the requirement to be an alcohol analyst under HAR Title 11, chapter 114. Perry also explained that she qualified as an alcohol testing supervisor because she fulfilled the sole requirement that she have four years of experience as an alcohol analyst.[3]

         To gain admission of the results of the blood alcohol test results, the State then attempted to introduce evidence to establish that the City and County of Honolulu Health Services Division Laboratory (Laboratory) where Perry worked was a licensed laboratory under Title ll.[4] Defense counsel objected for lack of foundation. Perry testified that she had personal knowledge that the Laboratory was licensed as of November 2011. As the laboratory supervisor, Perry received a licensing letter from DUI coordinator Dr. Tarn Nguyen stating that the Laboratory was licensed under HAR Title 11, chapter 114. Perry testified that the letter was kept in the regular course of the Laboratory's business. The State moved to enter the DUI coordinator's licensing letter, marked as State's Exhibit 1, into evidence in order to establish the reliability of the laboratory, methods, and instrument used to measure Villena's blood alcohol content. Defense counsel objected on the basis of authentication, lack of foundation, hearsay, and violation of Villena's rights under the Confrontation Clause. The court took the letter's admission into evidence under advisement.

         Perry next testified regarding the enzymatic method used to analyze blood samples. She testified that this method was approved by Dr. Tarn Nguyen, the statewide DUI coordinator, in September 2009. Over objections from defense counsel for lack of foundation, Perry stated that the enzymatic method is accepted in the scientific community as being accurate and reliable.

         Perry identified the instrument used to test the blood samples as the "Ace Alera." Again, over defense counsel's objection for lack of foundation, Perry stated that the Ace Alera was approved by the DUI coordinator. Perry testified she was trained to calibrate and operate the Ace Alera by her then-supervisor in September 2009. As part of her training, Perry reviewed the manufacturer's manual, which explained how to calibrate and operate the Ace Alera. She testified that calibration is conducted by placing the reagents and the appropriate samples on the instrument; once the instrument runs it informs ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.