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Tag Archives: driving under the influence

GROUNDWORK SET FOR ADDITIONAL CHALLENGES TO DRAEGER ALCOTEST 9510 BREATH TEST MACHINES IN MASSACHUSETTS

The recent decision by Massachusetts district court judge Robert Brennan regarding Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines in Massachusetts laid the groundwork for more wide-ranging challenges to the devices. Brennan’s decision is a win for defendants whose breath test results are from 9510 devices that were last calibrated before the state police Office of Alcohol Testing (“OAT”) established written protocols regarding annual calibration on September 14, 2014. In his decision, Judge Brennan noted that “in the absence of written protocols, ... Read More »

Will .05% Become the New National Legal Limit?

On March 8, 2017, Utah lawmakers passed legislation to lower the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level to 0.05%.[1] Utah’s governor must still approve the bill, but if signed into law, the lowered blood alcohol limit will take effect in the state on December 30, 2018—just before New Year’s Eve.[2]   Gov. Gary Herbert’s office told FOX 13 TV station on Wednesday night he plans to sign the bill into law, making Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the ... Read More »

How Accurate are Field Sobriety Tests?

There are typically three so-called field sobriety tests that Hawaii police officers use when trying to determine if a person is impaired by alcohol.  They were thought up by social scientists pursuant to government grants decades ago.  The science behind them has been examined for years.  There are significant problems.  Besides the fact that many people, completely sober, would fail the tests, the federal government set the bar for employing the tests very low.  The question that was asked was ... Read More »

DECISION ON SCIENTIFIC RELIABILITY OF DRAGER 9510 IN MASSACHUSETTS

After hearing testimony over ten days, Judge Brennan of the Massachusetts district court department issued his decision regarding the defense bar’s challenge to the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer, first deployed in Massachusetts in June 2012. The defense bar’s motion to exclude breath test results from the 9510 machines as evidence against defendants was allowed in part and denied in part. The court determined that the scope of its inquiry should include: 1) whether the source code ... Read More »

CLOSING ARGUMENTS AT MASSACHUSETTS HEARING CHALLENGING RELIABILITY OF DRAEGER ALCOTEST 9510 BREATH TEST MACHINES

The hearing regarding the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines concluded with closing arguments on Friday, February 3. The defense bar argued that because the relevant statute states that simply driving with a .08 blood alcohol concentration, as measured by the 9510 machine, is enough for a conviction, regardless of the tolerance an individual driver may have or any effect on their driving, the reliability of the machines should be subject to the highest scrutiny. The ... Read More »

MORE PROBLEMS WITH DRAEGER ALCOTEST 9510 BREATH TEST MACHINES IN MASSACHUSETTS

On Friday, February 3, the final day of hearings regarding the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breath test machines, a representative from Draeger testified that a previously unknown error appears to have been caused because the machines were programmed to use an incorrect value during performance checks and calibration. The 9510 machines use two sensors to measure blood alcohol: An infrared sensor, as required by statute, and an electro-chemical fuel cell. During calibration, the measurements of the two ... Read More »

What Actually Happens In Your Body When You Get “Drunk”?

Drunk driving can lead to being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being arrested can add to the serious “hangover” you may have after consuming that much alcohol. But most people are not aware of what actually happens to your body once all that alcohol is consumed. Ash M. Richter has authored an article, “Every Time You Get Drunk, This Is What Happens To Your Body And Your Brain,” that explains the science behind the hangover. The consumption of ... Read More »

MASSACHUSETTS HIGH COURT SCHEDULES HEARING REGARDING EVIDENCE OF DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF MARIJUANA

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has scheduled a hearing for January 6, 2017 to hear argument regarding the relevance and admissibility of certain evidence regarding driving under the influence of marijuana. After the case was remanded to the district court for consideration of several questions raised by the high court, it has returned to the SJC after the issues seem to have been distilled to four key questions. Primarily, the court will hear arguments regarding whether there is a scientifically ... Read More »

Tennessee Adopts a (Limited) Good-Faith Exception to the Warrant Requirement

On November 3, 2016, Tennessee joined the ranks of over a dozen states that have adopted a limited good faith exception to the search warrant requirement in a Tennessee DUI case that involves a warrantless blood draw.[1] A blood draw for the purpose of determining a person’s blood alcohol content is a search under the Fourth Amendment, and a warrant is required unless an exception to the search warrant requirement applies.[2] For example, some exceptions include consent to the blood ... Read More »

DUI by Prescription Drugs

During your next visit to your doctor, she prescribes a muscle relaxer, or a “nerve pill” or cough syrup (your choice). You stop by the pharmacy and take the prescribed amount while there because you need immediate relief. On the way home, you are stopped at a red light when you are rear-ended. Once the police arrive, you are ultimately arrested—even though you did nothing wrong! Can this be legal? Unfortunately, it occurs far too frequently. Most people are unaware ... Read More »