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U.S. DUI News

THE TIDE HAS SHIFTED AGAIN…..

The Supreme Court recently decided a case Missouri v. McNeely, 567 U.S. ____ (2012) holding that police officers cannot normally conduct blood-alcohol tests without a warrant. After being stopped by a police officer for speeding and crossing the centerline the officer noticed several signs that McNeely was intoxicated, including McNeely’s bloodshot eyes, his slurred speech, and the smell of alcohol on his breath. McNeely admitted to the officer that he had consumed “a couple of beers” at a bar, and ... Read More »

Binge Drinking among Women: A Serious Health Problem

According to a CDC report from January 2013, binge drinking has become a serious and under-recognized women’s health problem.  Binge drinking for women is defined as consuming four or more alcoholic beverages on an occasion.  According to this report, such women generally consume around six drinks per binge.  U.S. dietary guidelines define women drinking in moderation as consuming no more than one drink per day. The health problems associated with binge drinking among women include an increased risk of breast ... Read More »

Learning DUI Science

When defending a person charged with DUI, one of the most important questions is whether or not they submitted to a breath, blood, or urine test.  Because the truth of the matter is that it is sometimes difficult to win when there is, for example, a blood test showing a BAC of .13%.  But as law enforcement agencies strive to make DUI detection more scientific, the pitfalls become more evident; and there are plenty of them. Generally speaking, the scientific ... Read More »

Can the Alco-Sensor be Used Against You in Virginia?

If you are pulled over and the officer suspects drunk driving, you will be offered a preliminary breath test – sometimes called an Alco-Sensor.  I have watched many videos where officers tell my clients that the results of the Alco-Sensor “cannot be used in court” and “cannot hurt them.”  But is this true? It is true that the preliminary breath test cannot be used against them to prove DWI or “baby DWI” (under 21 with a blood alcohol level of ... Read More »

PA License Suspensions for Refusing a Chemical Test

As a Pennsylvania licensee, you have already agreed to take a chemical test if ever arrested for driving under the influence.  Because you have already agreed to take a chemical test, whether it is blood, breath or urine, you are subject to enhanced penalties if you refuse.  In looking at it in its most basic terms, a refusal results in your case splitting into two parts: civil and criminal. On the civil side, PennDOT will suspend your license for 12 ... Read More »

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Takes Action on DUI Cases

As noted by James Nesci, another contributor to this blog (See his post of May 14, 2013), in May 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”) met to consider reducing the legal blood alcohol limit to drive.  As reported by USA Today, CNN, and many other news organizations, the principal NTSB recommendation focused on reducing the per se legal blood-alcohol content limit while driving from .08% to .05%. How many drinks does a person need to consume in order to ... Read More »

No Warrant, No Blood

The United States Supreme Court held in Missouri v. McNeely that forcing an unwilling suspect to have their blood drawn without first securing a warrant is a violation of their Fourth Amendment rights. The Supreme Court concluded that the exigency exception to the warrant requirement did not apply in routine DUI cases because the simple fact that blood alcohol levels dissipate over time did not constitute an emergency. In drunk-driving investigations, officers must typically take the suspect to a medical ... Read More »

Burden of Proof in a criminal case

With all of the recent national media attention to the jury verdict in the George Zimmerman case, I, and The Wagner Law Firm, thought it prudent to remind, or in some cases teach, our DUINewsBlog.org readership what the actual burden of proof is in a criminal case in a United States courtroom, what it means and the burden therein our government bares in proving their case. The burden of proof the government bares in a criminal case is called, “proof beyond a reasonable doubt.” This burden ... Read More »

Did You Say Too Much To The Officer, Or Not Enough?

For years, criminal defense attorneys have cautioned people about the perils of talking to the police when they are suspected of violating the law.  It was sound advice, but now that admonition must be refined in light of a recent decision from the United States Supreme Court. The case is called Salinas v. Texas and it was issued earlier this year.  Berkemer v. McCarty is a much older case, and it essentially held that a motorist’s roadside statements are admissible at trial. Salinas goes further, ... Read More »

How Much is Too Much?

In order to prevent over-serving at bars, many states have adopted what is known as the Dram Shop Act. The Dram Shop Act allows victims and the families of victims to sue the bar or establishment that served alcohol to a drunken individual that subsequently injured someone in a drunken driving accident. These alcohol infractions are regulated by the Department of Revenue who will strip bars and bartenders of their licenses if found to be repeatedly over-serving. Georgia is one ... Read More »