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Author Archives: Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor is one of the most respected DUI defense attorneys in the country. With over 43 years experience in DUI defense, he has lectured to attorneys at over 200 seminars in 41 states. An original founder and former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Mr. Taylor's book "Drunk Driving Defense" has been the best-selling textbook on the subject for 31 years and is now in its 7th edition. He is today one of only 5 DUI attorneys in California who is Board-certified as a DUI defense specialist. A former Marine and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1966) and the UCLA School of Law (1969), Lawrence Eric Taylor served as deputy public defender and deputy district attorney in Los Angeles before entering private practice. He was the trial judge's legal advisor in People vs Charles Manson, was Supreme Court counsel in the Onion Field murder case and was retained by the Attorney General of Montana as an independent Special Prosecutor to conduct a one-year grand jury probe of governmental corruption. Turning to teaching, Mr. Taylor served on the faculty of Gonzaga University School of Law, where he was voted Professor of the Year, was invited to be Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University Law School, and was finally appointed Fulbright Professor of Law at Osaka University in Japan. Mr. Taylor continues to limit the practice of his 5-attorney Southern California law firm to DUI defense exclusively. With offices in Long Beach, Irvine, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Riverside and Carlsbad, Mr. Taylor and his firm of DUI defense attorneys may be reached through their website at www.duicentral.com or by telephone at (800) 777-3349.

Firm: Law Offices of Lawrence Taylor

Areas of Practice: DUI defense exclusively since 1979.

Address: 3780 Kilroy Airport Way, Suite 310 Long Beach, California 90806

Phone: 562.989.4774

Fax: 562.989.0555

Undergraduate: University of California at Berkeley (1966)

Law School: UCLA School of Law (1969)

Professional Affiliations: Mr. Taylor is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, California State Bar, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Orange County Bar Association and National College for DUI Defense. He maintains a personal DUI blogsite, DUIBlog.com, with commentary on the defects, fallacies and Constitutional damage of the war on drunk driving.

Professional Accomplishments:

Professional Experience:

Additional Education:

If you would like to contact the author, please visit: http://www.duicentral.com/


Breath Tests and the “Mouth Alcohol” Problem

One of the most common causes of falsely high breathalyzer readings is the existence of mouth alcohol. The breathalyzer’s internal computer is making a major assumption when it captures a breath sample and then analyzes it for blood alcohol concentration (BAC): It assumes that the alcohol in the breath sample came from alveolar air — that is, air exhaled from deep within the lungs. Since we are trying to measure how much alcohol is in the blood, rather than in the breath, the ... Read More »

How to Force a DUI Defendant to Prove His Innocence

The drunk driving laws make it a criminal offense to drive a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol (DUI) or while having a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or higher. It is not, however, a criminal offense to be under the influence or to have a BAC of .08% while taking a breath test in a police station an hour or two AFTER driving. So how does the prosecution prove what the BAC was when the defendant was driving? ... Read More »

Rising Blood Alcohol Levels in DUI Cases

It is illegal to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or greater while driving a vehicle. It is not illegal to have a BAC of .08% or greater while blowing into a breathalyzer after a DI arrest at a police station. In other words, just because a breath test shows a level of, say, .09%, it does not mean that the blood alcohol level when the suspect was driving an hour earlier was the same .09%. So what was the blood alcohol level ... Read More »

Does Marijuana Impair Driving?

It is against the law to drive while under the influence of marijuana. It has always been assumed that cannabis, like alcohol, impairs the perception, coordination, reflexes and judgment necessary for the safe operation of a motor vehicle. And, of course, there have been governmental studies addressing the question: Does marijuana impair driving? Interestingly, however, the findings do not necessarily support popular opinion…. On the one hand, the California Department of Justice concluded long ago that marijuana undoubtedly impairs psychomotor ... Read More »

Are Asthmatics Criminally Punished for Inability to Provide a Breath Sample?

Almost all states now have increased penalties for refusing to submit to blood-alcohol testing, usually involving added jail time and/or longer license suspensions. A few states even make refusing a separate and distinct crime. A large percentage of those charged with “refusing” are innocent. One of the most common refusals is the failure to breathe hard enough to produce a breath sample. The various breath machines all require the suspect to breath through a narrow breath tube hard enough to ... Read More »

Breathalyzers and the “Mouth Alcohol” Problem

One of the most common causes of falsely high breathalyzer readings is the existence of mouth alcohol. The breathalyzer’s internal computer is making a major assumption when it captures a breath sample and then analyzes it for blood alcohol concentration (BAC): It assumes that the alcohol in the breath sample came from alveolar air — that is, air exhaled from deep within the lungs. Since we are trying to measure how much alcohol is in the blood, rather than in the breath, the ... Read More »

False Breathalyzer Readings From Diabetes or Dieting

It is a little-known fact that breathalyzers do not measure alcohol: they actually measure the presence of a molecular group in chemical compounds. Ethyl alcohol (aka ethanol) contains the group, and so when the machine detects its presence (or, more accurately, infrared energy is absorbed by it), it simply assumes that the detected compound must be ethyl alcohol, otherwise it may lead to a false breathalyzer reading. Problem: there are thousands of compounds containing this molecular group — of which ... Read More »

Why Do Some Cops Always Report Identical Symptoms?

As any experienced DUI attorney knows, many police officers are considerably less than honest in their written DUI reports and in their testimony. One of the practices where this is most readily apparent is the tendency to “observe” exactly the same “symptoms” in every person the officer arrests for drunk driving. With Officer Smith, for example, the suspect fumbles with his wallet when getting his driver’s license, leans against the car for support, and misses “Q” in the alphabet recitation ... Read More »

How “Expert” Are Cops at Detecting Alcohol Impairment?

The drunk driving case rests heavily upon the subjective opinions of the arresting officer — the abilities of that officer to correctly assess DUI symptoms of intoxication: observations of driving, personal symptoms (slurred speech, flushed face, etc.), answers to questions, performance on field sobriety tests. It is his DUI report (and his opinion in that report) which will largely determine what, if any, criminal charges will be filed by the prosecutor; his decision which will or will not result in ... Read More »

The Field Sobriety “Eye Test”: Science or Fraud?

The critical part of any pre-arrest drunk driving investigation is the administration of the “field sobriety tests” (FSTs).  These usually consist of a battery of excercises involving balance, coordination and mental agility — and are difficult to perform for even a sober person under ideal conditions (see “Field Sobriety Tests: Designed for Failure?“). Although there are many different tests (walk-and-turn, finger-to-nose, one-leg-stand, etc.), an increasing number of law enforcement agencies are requiring their officers to use only the federally-recommended battery of ... Read More »