Bullcoming v. New Mexico

Amicus curiae brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association in support of petitioner.

Brief filed: 12/06/2010


Bullcoming v. New Mexico

United States Supreme Court; Case No. 09-10876

Prior Decision

Decision below 226 P.3d 1 (N.M. 2010).


At the petitioner’s trial for driving while intoxicated, the prosecution called an analyst who took no part in the testing of petitioner’s blood for alcohol content; the New Mexico Supreme Court held that blood alcohol analysis was a simple test in which the presence of the actual analyst was not necessary to interpret the results. This often-technical brief argues that blood alcohol testing using gas chromatography (GC) for analyzing blood alcohol involves exercise of the analyst’s judgment in interpreting results that presents a risk of error that can be discovered only through cross-examination of the analyst who ran the test; a proper cross-examination would include questions that only the actual analyst could answer.

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Barbara E. Bergman, Univ. of New Mexico School of Law, Albuquerque, et al.