EUREKA – On November 22, 2019, Humboldt County District Attorney Maggie Fleming expressed appreciation for the exceptional efforts of California Department of Justice (DOJ) Senior Criminalist Matthew Kirsten and CHP Officer Manuel Pina in a case involving driving while under the influence of alcohol by a person who refused chemical testing.
The person took one field sobriety test and then refused further testing, Officer Pina obtained a search warrant from a judge to conduct a blood test, which was completed two hours after the traffic stop. DOJ Senior Criminalist Kirsten provided effective testimony, after working to re-analyze the blood sample due to the fact the criminalist who initially analyzed it became unavailable.
“We are proud of our California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Member Matthew Kirsten and all of our criminalist members who are so effective in making or breaking cases,” said CSLEA President Alan Barcelona. “Law enforcement and criminal justice professionals rely heavily on forensics and the work that is done in California DOJ labs throughout the state.”
DA Fleming also praised Officer Pina for providing clear testimony during the trial based on an excellent report.
“Our County’s regrettable history of alcohol-related vehicular homicides makes clear the need to prosecute driving while under the influence cases to the maximum extent,” Fleming said. “The dedicated and effective efforts of our CHP and DOJ colleagues are making successful prosecution possible, even when drivers refuse testing.”
Fleming also expressed appreciation for the efforts of the jury.