THE CIRCUIT COURT OF ROANOKE COUNTY James R. Swanson, Judge
B. Padgett (Dirk Padgett Law PLLC, on brief), for appellant.
Victoria Johnson, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R.
Herring, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Petty, Russell and Malveaux Argued at
WILLIAM G. PETTY, JUDGE
Scott Coffman was convicted of driving while under the
influence in violation of Code § 18.2-266. Coffman
argues that the trial court erred in admitting into evidence
the certificate of analysis from a blood sample that was
obtained by a nurse who was not designated by an order of the
circuit court to withdraw blood; he argues that such prior
designation is required by Code § 18.2-268.5. For the
following reason, we disagree and affirm Coffman's
January 11, 2015, during the investigation of a one-car
accident in Roanoke County, Coffman was arrested for driving
while under the influence. The arresting officer took Coffman
to LewisGale Regional Hospital because he complained of
shoulder pain. After the arresting officer informed Coffman
of Virginia's implied consent law,  Coffman consented
to a blood test. A registered nurse at the hospital drew a
sample of Coffman's blood.
trial, Coffman objected to admission into evidence of the
certificate of analysis from the blood sample, which showed a
blood alcohol content of .208%. He argued that the
certificate was not admissible because the registered nurse
had not been designated by court order to withdraw blood for
purposes of determining alcohol content and that such prior
designation was required by Code §
18.2-268.5. The trial court overruled his objection,
admitted the certificate of analysis into evidence, and
convicted Coffman of driving while under the influence in
violation of Code § 18.2-266. Coffman now appeals his
conviction, challenging the trial court's decision to
admit the certificate of analysis into evidence.
Standard of Review
court's evidentiary ruling is reviewed "under an
abuse of discretion standard." Boyce v.
Commonwealth, 279 Va. 644, 649, 691 S.E.2d 782, 784
[a] trial court "by definition abuses its discretion
when it makes an error of law . . . . The abuse-of-discretion
standard includes review to determine that the discretion was
not guided by erroneous legal conclusions." Porter
v. Commonwealth, 276 Va. 203, 260, 661 S.E.2d 415, 445
(2008) (quoting Koon v. United States, 518 U.S. 81,
100 (1996)). To the extent that determinations . . . involve
the interpretation of a statute or the common law, such an
interpretation is a question of law reviewed de novo
on appeal. See Woodard v. Commonwealth, 287 Va. 276,
280, 754 S.E.2d 309, 311 (2014); Country Vintner, Inc. v.
Louis Latour, Inc., 272 Va. 402, 410, 634 S.E.2d 745,
Commonwealth v. Greer, 63 Va.App. 561, 568, 760
S.E.2d 132, 135 ...