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Author Archives: Lawrence Taylor

Lawrence Taylor
Lawrence Taylor is one of the most respected DUI defense attorneys in the country. With over 43 years experience in DUI defense, he has lectured to attorneys at over 200 seminars in 41 states. An original founder and former Dean of the National College for DUI Defense, Mr. Taylor's book "Drunk Driving Defense" has been the best-selling textbook on the subject for 31 years and is now in its 7th edition. He is today one of only 5 DUI attorneys in California who is Board-certified as a DUI defense specialist. A former Marine and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1966) and the UCLA School of Law (1969), Lawrence Eric Taylor served as deputy public defender and deputy district attorney in Los Angeles before entering private practice. He was the trial judge's legal advisor in People vs Charles Manson, was Supreme Court counsel in the Onion Field murder case and was retained by the Attorney General of Montana as an independent Special Prosecutor to conduct a one-year grand jury probe of governmental corruption. Turning to teaching, Mr. Taylor served on the faculty of Gonzaga University School of Law, where he was voted Professor of the Year, was invited to be Visiting Professor at Pepperdine University Law School, and was finally appointed Fulbright Professor of Law at Osaka University in Japan. Mr. Taylor continues to limit the practice of his 5-attorney Southern California law firm to DUI defense exclusively. With offices in Long Beach, Irvine, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Riverside and Carlsbad, Mr. Taylor and his firm of DUI defense attorneys may be reached through their website at www.duicentral.com or by telephone at (800) 777-3349.

Is There a DUI Double Standard for Women?

In my previous post, “Are Women More Likely To Be Convicted of DUI?”, I discussed how today’s drunk driving laws and evidence tends to discriminate against women — specifically, I cited a scientific study showing how the lower levels of the enzyme dehydrogenase that breaks down alcohol are lower in women.  However, this is just one example of the problem. In another study, scientists found that women have lower “partition ratios” of blood to breath.  All breath machines in DUI ... Read More »

Are Women More Likely to be Convicted of DUI?

Arrest and conviction in a drunk driving case depends largely upon the breathalyzer or blood alcohol tests conducted on the suspect. If the test results are found to be .08% or higher, a conviction follows.  No distinction is made, of course, as to whether that suspect in the DUI case is a man or a woman. But what if it takes less alcohol for women to reach .08% blood alcohol than it does for men? Researchers at the University School of ... Read More »

Can a Cop Detect Marijuana Intoxication?

Our criminal justice system currently depends primarily upon the opinions of police officers to determine whether a driver is “driving stoned” — that is, unable to safely operate a vehicle due to marijuana impairment.  The main tool used to formulate this opinion is the same as that used for driving under the influence of alcohol: field sobriety tests.  These highly subjective roadside “tests”, administered and interpreted by cops with minimal training, are coming under increasing scrutiny — as reflected in ... Read More »

“Stoned Driving”: How Do You Measure Marijuana Impairment?

There has been a lot of media attention lately to the development of breath-testing devices that claim to provide law enforcement with the ability to detect and measure the presence and amounts of marijuana in a driver suspected of so-called “stoned driving”.  The accuracy of these devices has yet to be widely-accepted in the scientific community.  See, for example, Is It Possible to Prove Driving Under the Influence of Drugs?   Will science and profit-hungry corporations ever be able to ... Read More »

Diabetes and DUI

Contrary to popular belief, police officers have no inherent skill and little training in detecting levels of intoxication. In fact, they are psychologically predisposed in a drunk driving investigation to “see” what they expect to see, disregarding any alternative explanations. Let’s take a look at one of those possibilities…..As everyone knows, diabetics commonly experience hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). And what are the symptoms? Slow and slurred speech, poor balance, impaired motor control, staggering, drowsiness, flushed face, disorientation — in ... Read More »

Can Body Temperature Affect Breath Test Results?

Law enforcement DUI investigation techniques depend largely upon the fictitious premise that all humans are physiologically identical. Without that presumption, field sobriety and breath alcohol tests would not be possible. There are, of course, many examples of physiological differences — from person to person and within one person from moment to moment — which will directly alter breath or blood alcohol testing in DUI investigations. A few examples are diabetes, GERD (acid reflux), anemia — even sex and race create ... Read More »

The Unseen Risks of “One for the Road”

One evening at a restaurant, Martha shares a bottle of wine with a friend.  She nurses one glass over a one-hour dinner.  Nearing the end, another glass is poured from the bottle and she finishes this.  The two friends then order an after-dinner drink.  Noting the time, Martha quickly finishes the drink and leaves.  She is stopped by the police one block from the restaurant.  After questioning and field sobriety tests, she is taken to a police station and tested on a breathalyzer.  The machine shows ... 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 »

Do Breathalyzers Measure Alcohol?

Breathalyzers don’t actually measure alcohol. That’s right.  What they actually detect and measure is any chemical compound that contains the methyl group in its molecular structure.  There are thousands of such compounds — including quite a few which can be found on the human breath. And this machine that determines a person’s guilt or innocence in a DUI case will “see” all of those chemicals as alcohol — and report a falsely high blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). Most breath machines used ... 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 »