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Tag Archives: Drunk Driving

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 »

State laboratory to suspend blood-alcohol and blood-drug testing

In a press release issued today, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has announced that it will suspend itself from blood-alcohol and blood-drug testing due to systemic failures and staff incompetence. DENVER – Effective July 3, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment will suspend blood-alcohol and blood-drug testing performed at its toxicology laboratory until further notice. During this suspension, the state toxicology lab will complete the work on samples currently in the testing process. Unprocessed specimens will ... Read More »

Virginia’s New Policy for Restoration of Rights after Felony DUI

You can’t count on a lot in life – but one thing you can – DWI penalties always get tougher in Virginia.  So, it’s noteworthy when Virginia decides to give people convicted of a DUI a break.  This break comes from the Governor instead of from the General Assembly. If you were convicted of a felony DUI, it will be easier to get your rights restored to vote, hold office, and serve on a jury.  Additionally, this initial restoration is ... Read More »

NORML calls for Colorado Legislature to Reconsider DUID Marijuana Stardard Based on Biased State Lab

Colorado NORML On June 12th, Colorado NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws), sent a letter to the Governor, Speaker of House Ferrandino, Senate President Morse and Colorado Attorney General asking  the Legislature reconsider its decision to impose an arbitrary DUID-marijuana standard of 5 ng/ml in light of the revelations of the drastic deficiencies in the lab training, qualification, accuracy, standard operating procedures, reporting, and alleged bias of employees of the state toxicology laboratory at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). Next, NORML is ... Read More »

New Felony DWI law in Virginia: from 0 to 365 days on July 1, 2013!

Third and subsequent DWIs became felonies in Virginia in 1999.  Since that time, Virginia has had a 10 year lookback period for using previous DUIs to enhance punishments.  Currently, Virginia Code § 18.2-270 has the following DWIs and minimum mandatory punishments: 3 DWIs committed within a 10 year period   90 days 3 DWIs committed within a 5 year period     6 months 4 (or more) DWIs within a 10 year period      1 year These portions of the law remain the same. ... Read More »

Follow the money: Florida shortens yellow light time at intersections with red light cameras

A local Florida station reports that Florida changed its rules to allow shorter yellow light times at intersections.  The result:  millions of dollars in additional revenues in red light camera fines.  Did Florida cities and counties inform their citizens that “the times were a’changing?”  Of course not!  Why?  Millions of dollars from red light camera fines! As it turns out, the Florida Department of Transportation reduced the yellow light time below federal recommendations.  Why?  Research apparently indicated that if you ... Read More »

The Implied Consent Myth

I originally intended to blog about the April 2013 decision of the United States Supreme Court in Missouri v. McNeely.  (I’ll do that in a future blog.)  But, while doing research, I was once again shocked at the number of newspaper articles and attorneys that don’t understand “implied consent.” An oft repeated refrain goes something like this: “It’s called the implied consent law and everyone signs the form when they get their driver’s license.”  One article goes on to state ... Read More »

Bill to create marijuana BAC equivalent fails in Colorado Senate

As we’ve been reporting on this blog for some time, a proposed bill has been circulating in the Colorado legislature that aimed to establish a legal limit on the nanograms of THC per 100 milliliters of blood that state drivers could register in blood tests given by law enforcement officials.  The bill, formally known as House Bill 13-1114, would have made 5 nanograms of THC per 100 milliliters marijuana’s equivalent of the 0.08 blood alcohol content limit for drivers who are ... Read More »

Mississippi Senate Bill 2183: Ending Beer Discrimination or Enabling Abuse?

With the ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933, prohibition came to an end.  The federal government, as well as the several states, exercising their new-found authority to regulate the substance, began passing laws to provide for its manufacture, consumption, and possession.  And amid the deluge of subsequent legislation, the federal legislature was kind enough to allow for in-home production of wine; but they apparently forgot about beer.  In fact, it was not until 1979 that the home brewing of ... Read More »

Drunk Driving or Distracted Driving?

The dangers posed by impaired drivers are widely recognized.  Drunk and drugged driving remains a significant problem and should not ignored.   Nevertheless, the lesser-known danger of distracted driving must be addressed as well.  Despite evidence that instances of injuries and death due to distracted driving have increased, public awareness and policy lag far behind awareness and policy for drunk driving. In 2009, 5,400 people died and another 448,000 were injured because of distracted drivers.[1]  Of the 5,400 deaths, 995 were ... Read More »