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Tag Archives: Drunk Driving

The DWI Exception to the Constitution is Alive & Well

There is no actual DWI exception to our Constitutional rights; however, DWI Attorney Lawrence Taylor popularized the term to describe numerous Supreme Court rulings that act as if there were. (See http://dwimanual.com/our-attorneys/what-motivates-us/ for more.) A number of DWI Attorneys have written excellent blogs about the Navarette case – but a previous Virginia case that was before the Supreme Court showed once again that the DWI Exception to the Constitution is alive and well. Harris v. Commonwealth of Virginia shared a ... Read More »

Felony Drunk Driving Now Easier to Prove for Michigan Prosecutors

Effective May 2014, Enrolled House Bill no 5154 makes significant changes to the manner in which an important legal right in felony drunk driving cases is fulfilled.  But first, some background into the felony drunk driving preliminary exam, based on an excellent article written by Cooley Law professor Lew Langham.[i] Currently, every criminal defendant charged with a felony in Michigan is entitled to a preliminary examination, also known as a probable-cause hearing. Once a prosecuting attorney brings criminal  charges against ... Read More »

“Slurred Speech”: Evidence of Intoxication?

As with the odor of alcohol on the breath, few DUI police reports will fail to include an observation by the arresting officer that the drunk driving suspect  exhibited “slurred speech”.  It is a standard criteria for detecting alcohol impairment.  The officer fully expects to hear slurred speech in a person he suspects is under the influence, particularly after smelling alcohol on the breath, and we tend to “hear” what we expect to hear. And hearing it supplies the officer ... Read More »

Sealing or Expunging your Massachusetts Record

You may be wondering if it is possible to have your OUI conviction expunged from your record.  The short answer is no.  An expungement order is a court order to remove and destroy records so that no trace of the information remains.  There are two instances, as it relates to DUI, where your record may be expunged.  First, a judge may have your name changed to “John or Jane Doe” on the criminal complaint and expunge your record if someone was charged ... Read More »

DUIs are Forever . . . in Virginia

Among the Top 10 Questions that I am asked:  “How long will a DUI be on my record?” Virginia makes the answer easy:  DUIs are forever. Virginia has no provision to erase or expunge any misdemeanor or felony conviction no matter how much time has passed.  It is true that a first or second DUI (both misdemeanors) will only “count” against you as a previous DUI for 10 years, but as of July of 2013 felony DUIs now count against ... Read More »

New Technology to End Drunk Driving?

In August 2013, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Chief David Strickland wrote to the CEO’s of major automakers and urged them to continue supporting research and development of in-vehicle alcohol detection systems.  In 2008, research funded by automakers and the federal government began an effort to develop in-vehicle technologies that would prevent intoxicated drivers from starting and driving a car.  Although the Ignition Interlock Devices that are currently used accomplish this same goal, this new technology would differ significantly. Ignition ... Read More »

Loss of Concealed Carry for DWIs in Virginia

While the concealed carry law was NOT changed in Virginia this year, the very long concealed carry section was reorganized into a number of smaller sections.  The result:  courts are increasingly requiring defendants convicted of DWI to relinquish their concealed carry permits. And this is for people that were NOT carrying while DWI.  The penalty for concealed carry while intoxicated is another Class 1 misdemeanor with up to a $2500 fine and a year in jail.  Your weapon will also usually be confiscated ... Read More »

Legally Prescribed Medication May Lead to a DUI Conviction

I receive many calls from persons arrested for DUI by prescription drugs who want to use as their defense the fact that they were taking the dosage of medication prescribed by their physician.  Today, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are a normal part of daily life for many people—many of whom are surprised to hear that taking a legally prescribed medication can still lead to a DUI conviction. Many prescription and over-the-counter drugs may impair a person’s ability to operate a ... Read More »

Drunk Driving Entrapment?

Suppose a police officer asks or orders an individual to drive a vehicle — and then arrests him for DUI when he complies?  Does this constitute entrapment? This situation comes up more often than you might think. Take, for example, the following case that eventually made its way to the New Jersey Supreme Court…. The defendant asked his brothers at a wedding reception to drive him home because he was too intoxicated to drive. In the parking lot, however, the ... Read More »

Breathalyzers and the “Mouth Alcohol” Problem

One of the most common causes of falsely high breathalyzer readings in DUI cases 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 DUI suspect’s blood, rather ... Read More »