Sunday , November 19 2017
Home / Virginia DUI News / The DWI Exception to the Constitution is Alive & Well

The DWI Exception to the Constitution is Alive & Well

There is no actual DWI exception to our Constitutional rights; however, DWI Attorney Lawrence Taylor popularized the term to describe numerous Supreme Court rulings that act as if there were. (See http://dwimanual.com/our-attorneys/what-motivates-us/ for more.)

A number of DWI Attorneys have written excellent blogs about the Navarette case – but a previous Virginia case that was before the Supreme Court showed once again that the DWI Exception to the Constitution is alive and well.

Harris v. Commonwealth of Virginia shared a number of details with Navarette including that the police observed absolutely no bad driving behavior after an anonymous tip. None. The United States Supreme Court considered, but rejected, hearing Harris. In his dissent though, Chief Justice Roberts demonstrated once again the “DWI exception to the Constitution” and presaged his decision in Navarette:

“I am not sure that the Fourth Amendment requires such independent corroboration before the police can act, at least in the special context of anonymous tips reporting drunk driving.”

and

“This Court has in fact recognized that the dangers posed by drunk drivers are unique, frequently upholding anti-drunk-driving policies that might be constitutionally problematic in other, less exigent circumstances.”

Notice that the Chief Justice admits that drunk driving is “special” and that the current DWI laws are “constitutionally problematic.” Problematic is a nice way of saying “wrong:” it’s constitutionally wrong for the government to seize you without probable cause.

Huh. Does “the Fourth Amendment requires such independent corroboration before the police can act, at least in the special context of anonymous tips reporting MURDER?” It does. Does “the Fourth Amendment requires such independent corroboration before the police can act, at least in the special context of anonymous tips reporting RAPE?” It does.

Our passion at Tillotson & Martin, L.L.C., is defending citizens against unfair DUI & drug laws. We write the book for DWI defense for Virginia attorneys and provide seminars for attorneys on how to beat the breath test machine. We train extensively to develop and improve cutting edge defenses. Our attorneys are active National College for DUI Defense members, are certified in NHTSA Field Sobriety Testing, and are trained to interpret breath test and blood test data.

Don’t let a DWI or alcohol charge ruin your life. We strive to be the best trained, most prepared Virginia DUI attorneys so that we can aggressively fight for your rights. Call us for a free consultation at (757) 969-5197.

About Mike Tillotson

Mike Tillotson
Mr. Tillotson graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Studies in 1986. He received the Alpha Signa Award for graduating with the highest grade point average in his field of study. In 1990, he received his juris doctor from Marshall-Wythe School of Law at the College of William and Mary. Being involved in professional legal organizations allows attorneys to keep abreast of the latest information in their field. Mr. Tillotson is an active member of the Virginia Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National College for DUI Defense as well as a Lifetime Member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has also been recognized by the National College for DUI Defense for his dedication to defending citizens who have been accused of driving while intoxicated. Mr. Tillotson was recognized as one of The American Trial Lawyers Association's Top 100 Trial Lawyers from Virginia.

If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://virginiabeachduilawyer.net


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*