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Tag Archives: driving while intoxicated

To Blow or Not to Blow: Tennessee’s 2017 Implied Consent Law – Part 2

This is the second in a series of blog posts about recent changes to Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law.  If you missed Part 1, you may read it here: “To Blow or Not to Blow: Tennessee’s 2017 Implied Consent Law –  Part 1.” As discussed in Part 1, effective July 1, 2017, Tennessee made sweeping changes to its Implied Consent Law in an apparent attempt to comply with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 ... Read More »

To Blow or Not To Blow: Tennessee’s 2017 Implied Consent Law – Part 1

Effective July 1, 2017, Tennessee is making sweeping changes to its Implied Consent Law[1] in an apparent attempt to comply with the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Birchfield v. North Dakota, 136 S.Ct. 2160 (2016).  The Implied Consent Law and the Birchfield decision both address legal issues surrounding chemical tests to determine the alcohol and/or drug content in a person’s system. Specifically, they deal with the question of when and under what circumstances a blood or breath test may be ... Read More »

OPTIONS FOR VETERANS IN MASSACHUSETTS

Veterans in Massachusetts may avoid convictions for operating under the influence in some cases. The Supreme Judicial Court recently cited the “often difficult return to civilian life” for veterans and affirmed that a 2012 state law, known as the Valor Act, allows judges to divert some veterans to rehabilitation programs in lieu of having their case prosecuted at court and brought to trial. See Commonwealth v. Morgan, 476 Mass. 768 (2017). If the veteran successfully completes the rehabilitation program their ... Read More »

Forced Catheterization: Medically Acceptable and Reasonable?

Imagine you are pulled over and suspected of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI or DWI). The Officer decides he has probable cause to arrest you for DUI, and pursuant to your state’s implied consent law, he requests that you provide a sample of urine to determine the alcohol and/or drug contents in your system. Again, he specifically requests a urine test, not a breath test or a blood test to determine the amount of alcohol, prescribed medication, ... Read More »

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] On March 23, 2017, Utah’s governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law, making Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the nation.  The lowered blood alcohol limit will take effect in the state on December 30, 2018—just before New Year’s Eve.[2] This is a distinct and separate law from Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence. Accordingly, even if the ... 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 »

What is Fair Punishment on a DWI?

What are judges and prosecutors concerned with on a DWI? One of their main concerns is recidivism. Contrary to popular belief, the average recidivism rate for a first time DWI is approximately 21%[i]. Most people who get arrested for a first time DWI simply made a mistake. They will never be back in the system. In fact, most are going to punish themselves far greater than what a court or prosecutor could do to them. Will their alcohol BAC (breath or ... 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 »

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 »