Zidell v. Bright

Decision Date12 August 1968
Citation264 Cal.App.2d 867,71 Cal.Rptr. 111
PartiesHarold Jerome ZIDELL, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Tom BRIGHT, Defendant and Respondent. Civ. 24809.
CourtCalifornia Court of Appeals Court of Appeals

Mannina & Tambling, San Jose, for appellant.

Thomas C. Lynch, Atty. Gen. of California, Wiley W. Manuel, Deputy Atty. Gen., San Francisco, for respondent.

CHRISTIAN, Associate Justice.

This appeal is from a judgment denying a writ of mandate to prevent the Director of Motor Vehicles from suspending appellant's driver's license for refusal to submit to a blood alcohol test as required by Vehicle Code, section 13353.

On November 6, 1966 at approximately 2:30 a.m., Officer Ruddick of the Milpitas Police Department observed a car being driven erratically. He turned on his red light and siren but the driver continued for another half mile before yielding. Ruddick observed that the driver, appellant, was unsteady on his feet and that his breath smelled of alcohol. Appellant was arrested for driving while under the influence of an intoxicating liquor. At the police station Ruddick read the following statement to appellant: 'You are requested to submit to a chemical test to determine the alcoholic content of your blood. You have a choice of whether the test is to be of your blood, breath or urine. A refusal will result in the suspension of your driving privilege for a period of six (6) months.' Appellant telephoned his attorney; thereafter he refused to submit to any of the tests. Ruddick then left the station to resume other police duties.

Thirty to forty-five minutes later, and still during the booking process, appellant stated that he had changed his mind and would submit to one of the tests. The booking officer called the arresting officer, who refused to return; no test was given.

Appellant contends that if Officer Ruddick had returned and administered a test it would have been possible, through a mathematical calculation, to determine from the delayed test result the blood alcohol level at the time of the arrest. But the scientific validity of this proposition is not established, and the statute makes no provision for such an inquiry.

A court should interpret legislation reasonably and should attempt to give effect to the apparent purpose of the statute. (Ivens v. Simon (1963) 212 Cal.App.2d 177, 181--182, 27 Cal.Rptr. 801.) California courts have consistently recognized that a large proportion of traffic injuries and fatalities are due to inebriated drivers. (People v. Duroncelay (1957) 48 Cal.2d 766, 772, 312 P.2d 690; People v. Huber (1965) 232 Cal.App.2d 663, 671, 43 Cal.Rptr. 65.) Thus there was need for a fair, efficient and accurate system of detection and prevention of drunken driving. (People v. Sudduth (1966) 65 Cal.2d 543, 546, 55 Cal.Rptr. 393, 421 P.2d 401.) The immediate purpose of Vehicle Code section 13353, the implied consent statute, is to obtain the best evidence of blood alcohol content at the time of the arrest of a person reasonably believed to be driving while intoxicated. The long-range purpose is, of course, to inhibit intoxicated persons from driving on the highways. (Finley v. Orr (1968) 262 A.C.A. 711, 69 Cal.Rptr. 137.)

It is provided that 'The test shall be incidental to a lawful arrest and administered at the direction of a peace officer having reasonable cause to believe such person was driving * * * while under the influence of intoxicating liquor.' (Veh.Code, § 13353,...

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50 cases
  • Suazo, Matter of
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • 23 June 1994
    ...Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wyoming.2 States adopting a bright-line test include: California, Zidell v. Bright, 264 Cal.App.2d 867, 71 Cal.Rptr. 111, 112-13 (1968); Illinois, People v. Graziano, 151 Ill.App.3d 475, 104 Ill.Dec. 325, 328, 502 N.E.2d 822, 825 (1986), but see Peo......
  • Macisaac v. Waste Management Collection
    • United States
    • California Court of Appeals Court of Appeals
    • 12 December 2005
    ...Tobacco Co. v. Superior Court (1989) 208 Cal.App.3d 480, 490, 255 Cal.Rptr. 280 (American Tobacco), quoting Zidell v. Bright (1968) 264 Cal.App.2d 867, 869, 71 Cal.Rptr. 111.) 2. The Second Step: Canons of Construction and Extrinsic Aids to When the plain meaning of the statute's text does ......
  • People v. Lujan, s. 1064
    • United States
    • California Superior Court
    • 18 February 1983
    ...from driving on the highways. (See People v. Schrieber, supra, 45 Cal.App.3d, at p. 922, 119 Cal.Rptr. 812; Zidell v. Bright (1968) 264 Cal.App.2d 867, 870, 71 Cal.Rptr. 111; and Finley v. Orr (1968) 262 Cal.App.2d 656, 69 Cal.Rptr. It should also be recognized that although California has ......
  • State v. Suazo
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • 17 March 1993
    ...delay would not affect integrity of procedure or do violence to purpose of Implied Consent Law). But see Zidell v. Bright, 264 Cal.App.2d 867, 71 Cal.Rptr. 111 (1968); Robertson v. State ex rel. Lester, 501 P.2d 1099 (Okla.1972); Commonwealth, Dep't of Trans. v. Schaefer, 8 Pa.Commw.Ct. 96,......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
3 books & journal articles
  • Administrative hearings
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Defending Drinking Drivers - Volume One
    • 31 March 2022
    ...to a chemical test, there is no right to cure. Some of the principal cases in support of the Corrado decision were: Zidell v. Bright , 264 Cal. App. 2d 867 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 1968); Krueger v. Fulton , 169 N.W.2d 875 (Iowa 1969); Mills v. Bridges , 471 P.2d 66 (Idaho 1970); Commonwealth, ......
  • Table of cases
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books California Drunk Driving Law - Volume 1-2 Appendices
    • 30 March 2022
    ...Three, Docket No. G038318 — Unpublished), §5:100 Zepeda v. U.S. Ins., 753 F2d 719 (9th Cir. Cal. 1983), §7:53 Zidell v. Bright (1968) 264 Cal.App.2d 867, §5:113 Zimmerman v. City of Oakland, 255 F3d 734 (9th Cir. 2001), §2:44.1 Zimmerman v. Municipal Court (1980) 111 Cal.App.3d 174, 179, §§......
  • Discovery
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books California Drunk Driving Law - Volume 1-2 Volume 1
    • 30 March 2022
    ...for his defense if he desires a chemical test and the arresting officer fails to take the initiative ,” quoting Zidell v. Bright (1968) 264 Cal.App.2d 867. In Zidell, the defendant had refused a chemical test, and later requested a test. He then cited subdivision (f) as excusing his origina......

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