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U.S. DUI News

Breath Test Discovery Fight in West Virginia

Currently pending before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia is the matter of Pamela Games-Neely v JoAnne Overington (Docket No.: 11-1648). I am lead counsel for the Respondent. The central issue before the high court of West Virginia is whether or not a citizen charged with driving under the influence may obtain through discovery request the download data, and accompanying maintenance records and associated operation/training manuals, from the specific Intoximeter EC/IR II breath machine used on the accused ... Read More »

Want To Get Drunk?

On May 2, 2012 news sources reported an American scientist and French designer unveiled a new product in Paris that allows people to become intoxicated or drunk in just a few seconds.  They claim it avoids the harmful effects of alcohol.  This mouth spray, called “WAHH Quantum Sensations,” is a lipstick-sized aerosol device that dispenses an amount equivalent to .075 ml of alcohol.  The manufacturers claim the rush lasts only a few seconds and quickly wears off.  Click here for ... Read More »

Red Sox Player Charged

After his alleged hit-and-run DUI arrest in Florida, Bobby Jenks stated “I am embarrassed by the situation and apologize to my teammates and to the Red Sox organization for any distractions I may have caused.” Jenks, a relief pitcher for the Red Sox, was arrested 9 days after his 31st birthday. According to the booking details on the Lee County Sheriff’s Office website, Jenks was charged with five misdemeanors including DUI and leaving the scene of an accident involving damage to property. In ... Read More »

Massachusetts First Offender Bill

Massachusetts’s lawmakers are currently considering and will likely pass a bill that would require first offenders to install an ignition interlock device (IID) in their vehicles. The law currently requires the device after a second or subsequent conviction. By taking this action, Massachusetts would join a minority of states that mandate an IID for anyone convicted of OUI.  This device would cause the cost of admitting to a first offense to rise by nearly $700.00 and would by its passing make fighting the case ... Read More »

California DMV Study – How To Obtain More DUI Conviction

The California Department of Motor Vehicles recently published the resultsof its six year study on DUI conviction rates throughout the State of Californiaentitled: AN EVALUATION OF FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH VARIATION IN DUI CONVICTION RATES AMONG CALIFORNIA COUNTIES, December 2011. The study’s recommendations focus on ways to achieve more convictions; reduce the rate of negotiated reduction of charges; obtain faster convictions; and prosecute more prescription medication cases. The study concluded with the following recommendations: 1. Reduce the number of delays and ... Read More »

Are Field Sobriety Tests Designed to be Failed?

Roadside field sobriety tests (“FSTs”) are commonly used by police officers in DUI investigations to determine whether a driver is under the influence of alcohol. Typically, they consist of a battery of 3-5 exercises, such as walk-and turn, one-leg stand, “nystagmus” (“follow the pencil with your eyes”), finger-to-nose, alphabet recitation, “Rohmberg” (eyes-closed-position-of-attention), etc. The officer may subjectively decide whether the individual “failed”, or he may decide after applying recent federal “standardized” scoring. These DUI tests have an aura of scientific ... Read More »

An Introduction to DUI Field Sobriety Tests

 Many people believe that every field sobriety test helps an officer determine if someone is intoxicated. This is not true. Officers may administer and reference many different types of field sobriety tests, but the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has validated and standardized only three to assist them in making a DUI arrest decision. Collectively these tests are often referred to as NHTSA’s Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, referred to by law enforcement officers as SFSTs, or just FSTs. It ... Read More »

GPS Tracking Devices – SCOTUS Decision

 The 4th Amendment has been resuscitated!! That is good news for Maine citizens arrested for Operating Under the Influence (OUI) and other criminal offenses. Hopefully you recall back in September of 2010, I wrote about GPS tracking devices and a recent decision from the District of Columbia Circuit (“GPS Tracking Devices – A Warrant or Not A Warrant – That is Now the Question”). Well, on Monday we got our answer; kind of…. In United States v. Antoine Jones, #10-1259 Justice Scalia wrote the decision of ... Read More »

Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Detector?

Consumers should exercise extreme caution when using any app on a mobile computer to determine whether they are fit to drive. For instance, in late 2011, a company called Breathaleyes began marketing an app on the iTunes store that is to be used to determine whether a person is exhibiting alcohol induced horizontal gaze nystagmus. The HGN is one of the three standardized tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to assist officers in determining whether a person’s ... Read More »

DUI Convictions and Breath Test: A Love Affair Gone Wrong?

On June 10, 2010 The Washington Post reported that nearly 400 drunk-driving convictions in Washington D.C. were based on flawed breath tests.  For those unfamiliar with breath tests, “trained” officers using specialized equipment perform breath tests by having the suspect blow into the machine that supposedly determines the blood alcohol level.  Police departments across the nation rely on these devices to prove your guilt.  However, these tests, like all chemical tests, are highly susceptible to human and mechanical error. In this investigation, police officers ... Read More »