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EVIDENCE A drunk-driving defendant did not have a Sixth Amendment right to confront the actual technician who handled his driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) lab work. The New Hampshire Supreme Court held on April 16 that the technician’s testimony was not needed for admission of the lab results into evidence. State v. Coombs, No. 2002-236. Thomas Coombs appealed his DWI conviction, arguing that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence his lab work, which indicated a blood alcohol level of 0.11. Specifically, Coombs argued that, since the state did not produce the actual technician who did his lab work, his confrontation rights under the Sixth Amendment were violated. Affirming, the high court held that lab results must be authenticated by a “certifying scientist.” The court held that it was permissible to have the lab work authenticated by a lab director; testimony by the actual technician was unnecessary for admission of the evidence.

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