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Missouri DWI Lab Testing is Weak on Standards

In Missouri driving while intoxicated (DWI) cases, police officers are required to follow certain standards. Standards are in place in an attempt to bring some degree of scientific certainty to testing procedures. Breath testing machines have been subject to weak oversight regarding testing standards. The result can be wrongful convictions. The Missouri Code of State Regulations (19 CSR 25-30) specifies the standards that should be followed when testing the accuracy of breath testing devices. If the standards are not followed, ... Read More »

Unconscious Consent

Our right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures just moved a step closer to extinction. The most recent U.S. Supreme court case to carve deeper into the Bill of Rights was Mitchell v. Wisconsin. DUI laws in most states allow a person to refuse a chemical test of their breath or blood although there is typically a civil penalty (ie. potential loss of driving privileges). On June 27th the United States Supreme Court ruled that Gerard Mitchell’s blood ... Read More »

MASSACHUSETTS PROSECUTORS AND DEFENSE BAR CONTINUE BREATH TEST NEGOTIATIONS

District Attorney offices throughout the Commonwealth continue negotiations with representatives of the defense bar regarding the admissibility of breath test results at trial. Some possibilities include expanding the time of presumptively excluded breath tests to include all tests performed since the Dräger 9510 machines were put into service in 2012 through at least 2017. Another potential outcome is to give both prosecutors and defense counsel online access to all maintenance and service records for each machine. We expect that all ... Read More »

UPDATE ON THE CONTINUING CHALLENGE TO THE DRÄGER 9510 BREATH TEST MACHINE IN MASSACHUSETTS

The latest hearing regarding the Massachusetts defense bar’s challenge to the Dräger 9510 breath test machine was held by Judge Brennan in Concord on Thursday, February 15, 2018. At that hearing, both Brennan and the defense bar, represented by Joseph Bernard, expressed their dismay that discovery previously withheld by the government continued to trickle out or had even been lost “due to dysfunction at the OAT [Office of Alcohol Testing].” The government pressed Brennan for a schedule that would give ... Read More »

DUI Technology—The DRUID App

The effects of alcohol intoxication are relatively well-known, and they are also relatively universal among different people. The amount of alcohol concentration in one’s bloodstream that causes these effects differs among each of us (e.g. tolerance). Moreover, the amount of time it takes to experience these effects is dependent upon a number of factors such as how quickly the alcohol is consumed, the amount of food in one’s stomach, etc. Nonetheless, all states[1] in the U.S. have adopted the 0.08% ... Read More »

The Newest in BodyCam Technology

Officers may not particularly like recordings of traffic stops and DUI investigations—after all, who wants all their actions recorded for review by their supervisor and potentially the public? Nonetheless, body cameras are invaluable in protecting both officers and citizens during non-routine encounters because the video footage provides a complete and unbiased recordation of the full situation. In DUI cases, though, the recordings provide experienced defense counsel the opportunity to detect Constitutional violations and procedural mistakes. In particular, lawyers scrutinize the ... Read More »

Nurse Arrested for Protecting Unconscious Patient from Illegal Blood Draw

United States Supreme Court decisions sometimes have a greater impact on daily life than citizens may realize. On June 23, 2016, the decision Birchfield v. North Dakota[1] changed the procedure on how law enforcement is supposed to request a blood draw from those suspected of committing a crime such as driving under the influence. The key phrase here is that it changed how law enforcement is “supposed to” handle drawing blood. As a recent news story from the Washington Post ... Read More »

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 »

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 »