PRINCE v. ZOLIN

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Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division 1, California.

Tony PRINCE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Frank ZOLIN, as Director, etc., Department of Motor Vehicles, Defendant and Appellant.

Blanca M. TREVINO, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Frank ZOLIN, as Director, etc., Department of Motor Vehicles, Defendant and Appellant.

Ronald Lavern PEGG, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Frank ZOLIN, as Director, etc., Department of Motor Vehicles, Defendant and Appellant.

Douglas Lee FERGUSON, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Frank ZOLIN, as Director, etc., Department of Motor Vehicles, Defendant and Appellant.

Tony PEREZ, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Frank ZOLIN, as Director, etc., Department of Motor Vehicles, Defendant and Appellant.

Nos. D019977, D020524, D020546, D020573 and D020596.

Decided: March 31, 1995

Daniel E. Lungren, Atty. Gen., Henry G. Ullerich, Asst. Atty. Gen., Martin H. Milas and Mary Horst, Deputy Attys. Gen., for defendant and appellant. Rick Mueller, James M. Bishop and Russell K. Robinson, for plaintiffs and respondents.

APPEALS from judgments of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Donald L. Meloche, Judge, and Victor E. Bianchini, Judge (assigned by Chairperson of the Judicial Council).   Reversed.

 The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) suspended the driver's licenses of each of the respondents 1 for driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or more.  (Veh.Code,2 § 13353.2.)   Following administrative hearings at which the suspensions were upheld (§ 13558), each respondent petitioned for a writ of mandate, challenging the use of unsworn laboratory computer printouts to establish their respective blood-alcohol levels.   The trial courts granted the petitions.   We reverse, holding section 23158.2 does not require sworn chemical test results and the licensed laboratory computer printouts of the chemical test results at issue here constituted admissible hearsay at the section 13558 administrative hearings.3

FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

Between March 14, 1993, and October 8, 1993, each respondent was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol (§ 23152) and was issued an administrative per se order of license suspension.  (§ 13353.2, subd. (b).)  Each respondent provided a blood sample, which was analyzed by the Sheriff's Crime Laboratory and the result forwarded to the DMV.   Because the chemical test in each case revealed a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or more, the prior notices of suspension remained in effect.

In accordance with the statutory scheme, each respondent requested an administrative hearing.   At each of the five separate hearings, held between April 29, 1993, and November 15, 1993, the hearing officers admitted into evidence various documents including:  (1) a sworn police officer's statement (§ 23158.2);  (2) the administrative per se order of suspension (§ 13353.2, subd. (b));  (3) the respondent's computer-generated driving record;  (4) an unsworn, unsigned, uncertified computer printout of chemical blood test results entitled “Sheriff Crime Lab Data” 4 ;  (5) a Forensic Alcohol Laboratory License for the San Diego County Sheriff's Department Crime Laboratory (No. 93048), including the names of individuals qualified to perform alcohol analysis and a computer code identifying those individuals by initials;  and (6) the curriculum vitae of the laboratory analyst whose initials corresponded with initials on the “Sheriff Crime Lab Data” computer printout.

During these hearings, respondents challenged the DMV's conclusion they were driving with a blood-alcohol level of at least .08 percent by objecting to the admissibility of the computer printout laboratory results.5  After overruling the objections, the respective hearing officers confirmed the license suspensions.6

Respondents then each petitioned for a writ of mandate in the superior court, arguing evidentiary error.  (§ 13559.)   Each of the respondents contended (1) the laboratory computer printout did not qualify as a public employee record pursuant to Evidence Code section 1280 and thus was inadmissible hearsay;  and (2) the printout did not comply with the statutory requirements of section 23158.2 because it was unsworn.   The court granted the petitions, finding the test reports were inadmissible because they lacked a proper certification from the laboratory.7

The DMV timely appealed these rulings.8

DISCUSSION

I. Statutory Overview

In 1989 the Legislature enacted an administrative license suspension procedure for adult motorists suspected of driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or above.9  Pursuant to the legislative scheme, an officer who arrests a driver for violating section 23152 (driving with a .08 + percent blood-alcohol level) is required to issue an administrative per se order of suspension.  (§ 13353.2, subd. (b).)  The officer must then submit a sworn statement concerning the arrest to the DMV.  (§ 23158.2.)   Thereafter, the results of the chemical test are forwarded to the DMV.  (§ 23157, subd. (g).) 10

If the test results reveal a blood-alcohol level of .08 percent or more, the suspension takes effect 30 days after the arrest.11  (See § 13353.3, subd. (a).)  Before the suspension takes effect, the driver has the right to an administrative hearing.  (§ 13558, subd. (a).)  At the hearing, the DMV must establish (1) the officer had reasonable cause to believe the driver was driving under the influence of alcohol;  (2) the driver was arrested;  and (3) while driving, the adult driver's blood-alcohol level was at least .08 percent.  (§§ 13557, subd. (b)(2).)

The administrative hearing is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act.   (Gov.Code, §§ 11370, 11501.)   Each party has the right “to call and examine witnesses, to introduce exhibits;  to cross-examine opposing witnesses on any matter relevant to the issues ․;  to impeach any witness ․;  and to rebut the evidence against him or her․”  (Gov.Code, § 11513, subd. (b).)  The hearing “need not be conducted according to technical rules relating to evidence and witnesses,” but the evidence must be of “the sort ․ which responsible persons are accustomed to rely in the conduct of serious affairs․”  (Gov.Code, § 11513, subd. (c).)  Hearsay evidence may be used to supplement or explain other evidence, “but shall not be sufficient in itself to support a finding unless it would be admissible over objection in civil actions․”  (Ibid.)

 In the event of an adverse ruling, the licensee may seek a writ of mandate in the superior court.  (§ 13559.)   The superior court, exercising its independent judgment, determines whether the administrative decision was supported by the weight of the evidence.   On appeal, review is limited to whether substantial evidence supports the trial court's decision.  (Santos v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 537, 545, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10 (Santos ).)

Against the background of this administrative scheme, we consider the admissibility of the computer printout of the laboratory test results to establish the respondents' blood-alcohol levels.

II. Hearsay Exception

The parties agree the laboratory reports are hearsay and that the reports (and accompanying laboratory license and curriculum vitae information) were the sole evidence relied upon to establish respondents' blood-alcohol levels.   The DMV argues the results were nonetheless admissible because they fall within the public employee records exception.  (Evid.Code, § 1280.)

To satisfy the public records hearsay exception, a party must establish (1) the writing was made by and within the scope of duty of a public employee;  (2) the writing was made at or near the time of the act, condition, or event;  and (3) the sources of information and method and time of preparation were such as to indicate its trustworthiness.  (Evid.Code, § 1280.)   We recently recognized that a police officer's arrest report of his or her firsthand observations satisfies each of these three elements and thus is admissible at a DMV administrative hearing.  (See Jackson v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1994) 22 Cal.App.4th 730, 736–740, 27 Cal.Rptr.2d 712.) 12  We further observed that because Evidence Code section 664 creates a statutory presumption that an official duty has been regularly performed, the burden then shifts to the driver to show the officer failed to meet his or her obligation to observe and correctly report the events described in the written statement.  (Id. at pp. 738–739, 27 Cal.Rptr.2d 712;  Santos, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th at p. 547, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10.)

Although we have not yet considered the public employee records hearsay exception in the context of laboratory test results generated from blood samples, the First District Court of Appeal has recently addressed this issue and has set forth applicable standards.  (Imachi, supra, 2 Cal.App.4th 809, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478;  Santos, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th at p. 547, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10.)   In Imachi, the only evidence offered to support the driver's blood-alcohol level was the arresting officer's sworn statement that he had reviewed the laboratory blood test results.  Imachi concluded the officer's hearsay statement could not be the sole basis for the driver's license suspension because the statement was not based on the officer's personal knowledge.   (Imachi, supra, 2 Cal.App.4th at p. 817, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478.)   The court observed, however, that “[t]he actual written report of a blood test performed by a licensed forensic laboratory on behalf of a law enforcement agency would presumably fall within the public employee records exception to the hearsay rule.”  (Id. at p. 816, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478.)

A few months later, the same appellate division decided Santos.   In Santos, the DMV established the driver's blood-alcohol level by presenting a document on letterhead from the Institute of Forensic Sciences identifying the motorist and relating the results of a test performed on the motorist's blood sample.  (Santos, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th at p. 542, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10.)   Repeating its earlier pronouncement that such a document would qualify as a public employee records exception to the hearsay rule, the court stated “faced with a [laboratory] report of chemical test results, the burden would be on the licensee to demonstrate that the test was not properly performed.”  (Id. at p. 547, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10.)  Santos concluded “[t]he present case involves the type of evidence missing in Imachi—the report of the blood test result from the laboratory itself.”  (Ibid.;  accord Burge v. Dept. of Motor Vehicles, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th at pp. 388–389, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 5 [“the written report of the results of a blood-alcohol test, prepared on behalf of law enforcement agencies by a licensed laboratory, ordinarily meets the criteria for a public employee business record and provides sufficient support of a finding that a licensee's blood-alcohol concentration was as stated in the report”].)

As in Santos, the DMV in this case established the respondents' blood-alcohol levels by presenting “the report of the blood test result from the laboratory itself.”  (Santos, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th at p. 547, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10.)   Although the results are presented on a computer printout entitled “Sheriff Crime Lab Data,” rather than on preprinted letterhead, a comparison of the two formats establishes the information identifying the motorists on the lab reports here was more comprehensive than in Santos.13  Unlike the laboratory report in Santos, which contained the motorist's name and the name of the submitting agency, four of the laboratory reports before us described the respondents by the same identifying information contained in the officer's sworn report (i.e., name, date of birth, driver's license number, social security number, and physical description).14

Further, while none of the laboratory reports here or in Santos was certified or sworn to in any fashion, each contained information identifying the analyst who conducted the test.   In Santos, the analyst's full name was typed on the report and the handwritten initials set forth.   In each of the respondents' cases, the analyst's initials appeared on the computer printout.   The laboratory license submitted by the DMV contained the full name of the test analyst whose name corresponded to the initials on the computer printout.   The analyst's qualifications were further established by information contained in the individual's resume submitted by the DMV.

We agree with Imachi and Santos that the actual written report of a blood test performed by a licensed forensic laboratory at the request of an arresting officer satisfies each of the three elements of Evidence Code section 1280.   With respect to the first two statutory elements, the reports here were based on the analyst's firsthand observations which were recorded “at or near the time of the [chemical tests]․”  (Evid.Code, § 1280.)   Even without the analyst's personal signature or “certification,” such facts are presumed because the laboratory analysis must be in accord with specified standards of performance set forth in Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.15  Because the analyst is acting as a public employee when performing these tasks (Imachi, supra, 2 Cal.App.4th at p. 817, fn. 5, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478), the analyst is presumed to have performed the task properly.   Additionally, with respect to Evidence Code section 1280's “trustworthiness” element, “the requisite indicia of trustworthiness [are] supplied by the fact that the analyst was reporting firsthand observations as well as by the presumption of official duty regularly performed.  (Evid.Code, § 664.)”   (Id. at pp. 816–817, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478.)

Accordingly, we conclude the computer printouts of the test results were admissible as public employee records.  (Evid.Code, § 1280.)

Respondents alternatively urge the computer printouts and the documents which accompany them (such as the laboratory license and analyst's curriculum vitae) were inadmissible because the documents were not properly authenticated.   They claim, for example, the DMV failed to submit any evidence showing how the reports were prepared or even whether the laboratory itself generated the computer laboratory report.

Authentication means there are sufficient preliminary facts to show the document is what the proponent claims it is.  (Evid.Code, § 1400.)   A document can be authenticated by evidence or by a legal presumption.   (Ibid.)  The computer printouts admitted at respondents' hearings reflect the form of information commonly used to report laboratory results.   The content of the printouts, together with the accompanying laboratory license, served to establish that the reports were in fact the San Diego Sheriff's Crime Laboratory's report of each respondents' blood test results.  (See Evid.Code, § 1421.) 16  It is a reasonable inference that the only person who would know the results of the blood test is the analyst who actually performed the test.   Further, in the absence of contrary evidence, a public employee, including agents performing tasks at that employee's request (i.e., blood-alcohol analyst), is presumed to perform his or her duties in accordance with the law, including the obligation to properly perform and report chemical tests.  (Santos, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th at p. 547, fn. 6, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10.)

Once the computer printout of the test was admitted at the administrative hearing, the burden shifted to the respondents to show the test was not in fact performed by the San Diego Sheriff's Laboratory or the printout did not in fact reflect the results of the blood test.17  Respondents had all relevant information to permit them to challenge the authenticity of the test results, including the name of the laboratory and the particular analyst who performed the test.   Yet, none of the respondents proffered any evidence at the administrative hearing suggesting the test results were not what the DMV claimed them to be.

Accordingly, we conclude the DMV provided sufficient information to foundationally establish the computer printouts submitted did in fact reflect the results of respondents' blood test analysis by the licensed laboratory.

III. Statutory Requirement of a Sworn Laboratory Report

Respondents next contend that even if the chemical reports fell within a hearsay exception they were inadmissible because section 23158.2 requires a test report to be accompanied by a sworn statement by the analyst who conducted the test.

Section 23158.2 provides:

“(a) If a peace officer ․ arrests any person for a violation of Section 23140, 23152, or 23153, the peace officer shall immediately forward to the department a sworn report of all information relevant to the enforcement action, including information which adequately identifies the person, a statement of the officer's grounds for belief that the person violated Section 23136, 23140, 23152, or 23153, a report of the results of any chemical tests which were conducted on the person ․, a copy of any notice to appear under which the person was released from custody, and, if immediately available, a copy of the complaint filed with the court․

“(b) The peace officer's sworn report shall be made on forms furnished or approved by the department.”  (§ 23158.2, italics added.)

 In examining whether this statute requires a sworn laboratory report, we are mindful “[t]he fundamental goal of statutory interpretation is to ‘ “ ‘ascertain the intent of the lawmakers so as to effectuate the purpose of the law.’ ”  [Citations.]'  In so doing, a court must look first to the plain words of the statute.  [Citation.]”  (Chester v. State of California (1994) 21 Cal.App.4th 1002, 1006, 26 Cal.Rptr.2d 575.)

Section 23158.2 imposes reporting duties upon a peace officer who arrests a motorist for driving under the influence.   The officer is obligated to forward certain enumerated documents to the DMV.   These reports include the officer's “sworn report,” “a report of the results of any chemical tests,” “a copy of any notice to appear,” and “a copy of the complaint filed with the court [if immediately available].”   Significantly, of the documents identified in the statute, only the officer's report is modified by the word “sworn.”   Likewise, the officer's report is the only document referenced in section 23158.2, subdivision (b) which the officer must prepare on a form furnished or approved by the DMV.   Moreover, as if to distinguish the officer's personal report from the other enumerated documents, in 1990 the Legislature amended section 23158.2, subdivision (b) to substitute the words, “the peace officer's sworn report” for the words, “the report.”

Viewing the plain language of section 23158.2, there is no requirement that a laboratory report is sworn.   This conclusion is supported by an analysis of other related code sections.

Section 23157, subdivision (g), for example, also imposes certain reporting functions on a peace officer.   As worded at the time of respondents' arrests, the officer was required to “immediately” forward to the DMV a copy of the completed notice of suspension served on the driver, a copy of the citation issued to the driver, any driver's license taken into possession, and “the report required by Section 23158.2 [the officer's sworn report].”   In addition, within 20 days of the arrest date, the officer had to “cause the results of the chemical test to be forwarded to the department․”  (Former § 23157, subd. (g), added by Stats.1992, ch. 1281, § 9.7.)

As with section 23158.2, there was nothing in the plain language of former section 23157, subdivision (g) obligating the officer to forward a sworn forensic report to the DMV.   Of note, when section 23157 was amended, the officer's reporting obligation was changed but the form of the forensic report was not.   As amended, the officer is required to send the sample to an “appropriate forensic laboratory,” which thereafter had the obligation to report the results to the DMV.   In short, the Legislature shifted the reporting responsibility from the officer to the laboratory, but it did not change the form of the report.18

 Just as sections 23157 and 23158.2 establish certain reporting functions, section 13557 sets forth the DMV's obligation upon receipt of the relevant information.   Specifically, section 13557, subdivision (a) provides the DMV “shall consider the sworn report submitted by the peace officer pursuant to Section 23157 or 23158.2 and any other evidence accompanying the report.”  (§ 13557, subd. (a), italics added.)   Again, the Legislature makes no reference to sworn forensic laboratory reports.

While conceding the applicable statutes do not expressly specify whether forensic reports must be sworn, respondents make much of the fact that where a motorist submits to a breath test, the officer must swear to the results, and urge that the Legislature could not have contemplated a lesser standard for blood or urine tests.   They argue if any chemical test report must be sworn, all must be sworn.

We find the argument unpersuasive as it ignores a fundamental difference between an officer and a licensed forensic laboratory.   To qualify as a licensed laboratory, the State Department of Health Services must certify a laboratory's compliance with the California Code of Regulations and its competency to analyze blood and urine samples.   Likewise, laboratory analysts in licensed laboratories are required to comply with these detailed regulations.   By contrast, an individual peace officer is not presumptively qualified to conduct breath tests and thus is required to swear to his or her competency and compliance with Title 17 of the California Code of Regulations.

Respondents also devote major portions of their appellate briefs to argue that the DMV concedes the laboratory report must be sworn because the DMV recently revised its forms to include a sworn statement for a laboratory analyst to sign when reporting blood-alcohol level results.   Although it is certainly within the DMV's discretion to administratively provide such certification forms and we would agree that such forms may make the administrative hearings more efficient, the applicable statutes do not require such forms or attestations.   The failure of the laboratory to use the DMV form did not violate a statutory requirement or render the administrative hearings defective.

We reject Ferguson's additional argument that even if the Legislature did not require a sworn laboratory report, such sworn report is constitutionally mandated by the due process clauses of the federal and state constitutions.

 Each of respondents' blood test results in this case came from a licensed laboratory.   The respondents were provided the name of the laboratory and the particular analyst who performed the test.   Thus, the respondents had the full opportunity to challenge the results by “call[ing] and examin[ing] witnesses, ․ introduc[ing] exhibits;  ․ and ․ rebut[ting] the evidence against him or her.”  (Gov.Code, § 11513, subd. (b).)  On this record, the absence of a certified laboratory report did not prevent the respondents from having the “ ‘opportunity to be heard “at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner” ’ ” on the issue of the blood-alcohol level of the test results.  (See Davenport v. Department of Motor Vehicles, supra, 6 Cal.App.4th at p. 145, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 818, quoting Mathews v. Eldridge (1975), 424 U.S. 319, 333, 96 S.Ct. 893, 902, 47 L.Ed.2d 18.)   Accordingly, there was no due process violation.19

DISPOSITION

The orders of the trial courts granting the petitions for writ of mandate in favor of the respondents herein are reversed with directions to enter judgments denying each of the petitions.   All parties to bear their own costs.

FOOTNOTES

1.   The respondents are Tony Prince, Blanca M. Trevino, Ronald Lavern Pegg, Douglas Lee Ferguson, and Tony Perez.   Pursuant to the DMV's unopposed motion, we consolidated the DMV's appeals against each of the respondents.

FN2. All further statutory references are to the Vehicle Code unless otherwise specified..  FN2. All further statutory references are to the Vehicle Code unless otherwise specified.

3.   These issues are currently under review by the California Supreme Court.  (See Wheeler v. Department of Motor Vehicles, (1994) 29 Cal.App.4th 54, 28 Cal.Rptr.2d 597, review granted on June 16, 1994 (S039625);  Rushmore v. Department of Motor Vehicles (Apr. 4, 1994, G012654) [nonpub. op.] review granted July 21, 1994 (S039879);  Thibault v. Zolin (May 10, 1994, G013266) [nonpub. op.] review granted July 28, 1994 (S040377);  Tyler v. Zolin (May 20, 1994, G013770) [nonpub. op.] review granted July 28, 1994 (S040598).)   Respondent Ferguson's argument that Wheeler remains “legally citable and binding precedent” is contrary to well established appellate rules.  (See Cal. Rules of Court, rules 976(d), 977(a).)

4.   In the cases of Trevino, Perez, and Pegg, the computer printout appeared as part of a printed document entitled “Supplement to Officer's Statement Blood/Urine Test Results.”   The top half of the document, headed “Chemical Test Request” was signed (but not sworn) by the arresting officer.   The computer printout was reproduced on the bottom half of the page, headed “Chemical Test Results.”   In the cases of Ferguson and Prince, the computer printout was presented on an otherwise blank piece of paper with no preprinted information.   Because we conclude the unsigned Sheriff Crime Lab Data computer printout standing alone is adequate to establish blood-alcohol levels, we find these differences to be of no consequence to our resolution of this appeal.

5.   One of the respondents (Pegg) additionally challenged the blood-alcohol evidence by presenting affirmative evidence in an attempt to show he was not intoxicated when he was driving.   This evidence included Pegg's own testimony as to the amount of alcohol he had ingested before his arrest.   In upholding the license suspension, the DMV hearing officer found this evidence was insufficient to rebut the laboratory test results.

6.   Based on driving record histories, Prince, Pegg, Perez and Ferguson's licenses were suspended for four months;  Trevino's license was suspended for one year.

7.   Judge Bianchini, who presided at respondent Prince's writ hearing, concluded the test results lacked the requisite indicia of trustworthiness required by Evidence Code Section 1280 (public employee records) because the analyst performing the test did not sign, certify or swear to the accuracy of the computer printout.   Judge Meloche, who presided at the other four writ hearings, concluded that section 23158.2 required the laboratory test reports contain “an affidavit or or some type of certification by the person testing the blood” and therefore held the reports inadmissible.

8.   In our initial review of the appellate record, we discovered the DMV administrative transcripts were not part of the record, except for the transcripts relating to respondent Perez.   At oral argument, we indicated that the record did not contain those DMV transcripts.   Pursuant to our request, the DMV subsequently filed these transcripts.   Our review of the parties' contentions is based on the entire record, including each of the administrative transcripts.

9.   The administrative suspension procedure also applies to individuals under the age of 21 who drive with a .01 percent or greater blood-alcohol concentration level.  (§ 13353.2, subd. (a)(3).)   Because respondents here are adults, for purposes of this opinion we will refer only to the .08 percent blood-alcohol level standard.

10.   During the time period in which the arrests took place, the Legislature amended section 23157, subdivision (g).   Under the former version, the officer was required to submit to the DMV the chemical test results within 20 days of the arrest.  (See former § 23157, subd. (g), added by Stats.1992, ch. 1281, § 9.7.)   The law now imposes the obligation upon the laboratory to “forward the results of the chemical tests to the [DMV] within 15 calendar days of the date of the arrest.”  (§ 23157, subd. (g);  see fn. 17, post.)

11.   Before July 1, 1993, the suspension took effect 45 days after the arrest.  (See former § 13353.3, subd. (a), amended by Stats.1992, ch. 1281, § 5.)

12.   Accord Imachi v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1992) 2 Cal.App.4th 809, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478 (Imachi );  Santos, supra, 5 Cal.App.4th 537, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 10;  Burge v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 384, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 5;  McKinney v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1992) 5 Cal.App.4th 519, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 18;  Davenport v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1992) 6 Cal.App.4th 133, 7 Cal.Rptr.2d 818;  Bell v. Department of Motor Vehicles (1992) 11 Cal.App.4th 304, 13 Cal.Rptr.2d 830.In Jackson, the driver challenged his license suspension, arguing there was insufficient evidence showing he had been in actual physical control of the vehicle and that he had a blood-alcohol level of at least .08 percent.   The evidence that he had been in control of the vehicle was based on the driver's statement to the police officer contained in an unsworn arrest report.  Jackson concluded the unsworn arrest report “was admissible competent evidence under the hearsay exceptions for public employee records and admissions of a party․”  (Jackson v. Department of Motor Vehicles, supra, 22 Cal.App.4th at p. 740, 27 Cal.Rptr.2d 712.)  Jackson additionally recognized the evidence of the blood-alcohol level contained in the police officer's sworn report was admissible because it reflected the results of a breath test administered personally by the officer.

13.   We granted Prince's unopposed motion for judicial notice of the laboratory report considered in the Santos case.

14.   While this additional information was not contained in respondent Ferguson's laboratory report, that report did identify Ferguson by name and birth date.   Because the report did clearly connect Ferguson with the stated blood test results, we reject Ferguson's assertion at oral argument that the absence of such evidence rendered the report inadmissible.

15.   As noted by Imachi “[t]hese regulations include requirements for licensing of forensic laboratories and analysts, collection and handling of samples and methods of analysis.   Methods of analysis must be in accord with specified standards of performance and procedure (including the requirement that instruments used for alcohol analysis be in good working order and be routinely checked for accuracy and precision [citation] ) as well as a quality control program adopted by the Department of Health Services.  [Citations.].”  (Imachi, supra, 2 Cal.App.4th at p. 816, 3 Cal.Rptr.2d 478.)

16.   Evidence Code section 1421 provides “[a] writing may be authenticated by evidence that the writing refers to or states matters that are unlikely to be known to anyone other than the person who is claimed by the proponent of the evidence to be the author of the writing.”

17.   Respondents assert vigorously that fairness requires the initial burden be imposed on the DMV to certify the laboratory report, rather than placing the obligation on a licensee to seek out such information.   Because we conclude there was sufficient foundation for the introduction of the report without a certification, we reject the argument.   To the extent the respondents believe that imposing the burden on the DMV reflects better public policy, the argument is one which should be directed to the Legislature, rather than to the courts.

18.   Former section 23157, subdivision (g) reads as follows:  “The peace officer shall immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form, a copy of the citation, and any driver's license taken into possession under subdivision (f), with the report required by Section 23158.2, to the department.   If the person submitted to a blood or urine test, the peace officer shall cause the results of the chemical test to be forwarded to the department within 20 calendar days of the date of the arrest.”The amended version of section 23157, subdivision (g) now provides “[t]he peace officer shall immediately forward a copy of the completed notice of suspension or revocation form and any driver's license taken into possession under subdivision (f), with the report required by Section 23158.2, to the department.   If the person submitted to a blood or urine test, the peace officer shall forward the results immediately to the appropriate forensic laboratory.   The forensic laboratory shall forward the results of the chemical tests to the department within 15 calendar days of the date of the arrest.”

19.   Respondents Trevino, Pegg, and Perez alternatively contend the court correctly granted their writ petitions because their blood-alcohol levels were not reported in a form using a percent symbol (%) and using the abbreviation “BAC” for blood-alcohol content.   We reject this contention, finding the hearing officers had ample basis to infer the reported blood-alcohol levels were expressed on a percentage basis by weight.

HALLER, Associate Justice.

FROEHLICH, Acting P.J., and NARES, J., concur.