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Name: People v. Beltran
Case #: A116944
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 11/27/2007

Trial court erred by instructed with CALJIC 12.61.1. Beltran was convicted of driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or above. On appeal, he contended that the trial court erred by instructing the jury with CALJIC No. 12.61.1, which allowed the jury to infer that he had a BAC of at least .08 while he was driving if they found that a test administered within three hours of the time he was stopped driving revealed a BAC of .08 or more. The appellate court agreed that there was no rational connection between the proved fact and the fact to be inferred sufficient to justify giving CALJIC No. 12.61.1. The sole evidence upon which the jury could conclude that Beltran had a BAC of .08 or greater was the fact that his BAC three hours later was .08. The prosecution’s own expert testified that a person’s BAC increases over time, and other tests administered later showed that Beltran’s BAC was rising. It cannot be said beyond a reasonable doubt that the jury did not infer that Beltran’s BAC was at least .08 as instructed by CALJIC No. 12.61.1, and therefore reversal was required.