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Are the results of an alcohol blood test admissible against the insured in a fire insurance case?

The simple answer is no.


Where the blood sample for an alcohol blood test is obtained under the implied consent statute (also known as the Michigan Vehicle Code), the results of the test are admissible only in the statutorily specified prosecutions. People v Keen, 396 Mich 573; 242 NW2d 405

(1976).


The results of an alcohol blood test are inadmissible against an insured in a civil action, such as an action for a breach of a fire insurance policy, unless the insured was deceased when the blood was withdrawn. McNitt v Citco Drilling Co, 397 Mich 384; 245 NW2d 18 (1976); Estate of Green v St Clair Co Road Comm, 175 Mich App 478;438 NW2d 630 (1989).


The rationale for the prohibition is that the Michigan Vehicle Code affords protections to a vehicle driver in exchange for which he or she allows a blood sample to be taken. To permit the use of the test results in a type of case not contemplated by the driver at the time of consent would transgress the scope of the consent. People v Hempstead, 144 Mich App 348, 352-353; 375 NW2d 445 (1985).


There may also be other reasons why the test results would be inadmissible such as relevance, unreliability, or the probative value of the test results is substantially outweighed by the danger of unfair prejudice, confusion of the issues, misleading the jury, by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence. MRE 401 and 403.


If your insurance company has denied, delayed, or underpaid your insurance claim, contact Law Office of Rabih Hamawi for a case evaluation at (248) 905-1133 or www.hamawilaw.com.


Who is Rabih Hamawi?

Attorney & Counselor


Rabih Hamawi is a principal at the Law Office of Rabih Hamawi, P.C. and focuses his practice on representing policyholders in fire, property damage, and insurance-coverage disputes against insurance companies and in errors-and-omissions cases against insurance agents. He may be reached at (248) 905-1133.



Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship, and isn't intended and should not be construed as the providing of legal advice.



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