(Buffalo, NY) Erie County Court Judge, Sheila DiTullio, ruled that blood alcohol results taken five hours after a fatal hit-and-run accident, can be used in the trial of Dr. James Corasanti.
Corasanti faces several felony charges after, police say, he was drunk driving, texting, and struck 18-year old Alexandria Rice at 11:20pm on July 8, 2011.
Prosecutors say Dr. Corasanti hit the young woman with his BMW while she was skateboarding along Heim Road in Amherst, and then fled the scene.
Alexandria Rice was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
Corasanti is charged with manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident without reporting resulting in death, and tampering with physical evidence.
Law officials say Corasanti refused to voluntarily give a blood sample, forcing them to get a court order.
Police then collected blood and urine samples approximately five hours after the tragic accident.
The results showed Dr. Corasanti was still intoxicated with a blood alcohol content of .10 - a level which exceeds the threshold for drunken driving.
Corasanti's defense team wanted the results thrown out, claiming police did not have probable cause to secure the court-order blood test which allowed them to take blood and urine samples.
The defense also argued that proper procedures were not followed during the collection.
Judge DiTullio ruled that the urine sample was not allowable under the court order, and it cannot be presented as evidence.
However, the judge found that police had probable cause to get the court-ordered blood test based on their observations of Dr. Corasanti and comments he made to investigators.
Prosecutors can now use the blood alcohol results in the doctor's trial scheduled for April 2012.