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Tag Archives: DUI

False Breathalyzer Readings From Diabetes or Dieting

It is a little-known fact that breathalyzers do not measure alcohol: they actually measure the presence of a molecular group in chemical compounds. Ethyl alcohol (aka ethanol) contains the group, and so when the machine detects its presence (or, more accurately, infrared energy is absorbed by it), it simply assumes that the detected compound must be ethyl alcohol, otherwise it may lead to a false breathalyzer reading. Problem: there are thousands of compounds containing this molecular group — of which ... Read More »

The Cost of Getting a DUI in Georgia

Most people don’t think about how costly getting a DUI could be because nobody ever plans to get a DUI.  We plan for retirement, we plan for our kids education, but it is absurd to contemplate setting aside funds for the unlikely event that we might get a DUI.  In addition to the financial costs, there are many other costs that are hard to measure.  Loss of reputation in the community.  The impact it will have on relationships both personally ... Read More »

The Dookhan Disaster

Annie Dookhan, a former Massachusetts chemist is making national headlines for allegedly “dry-labbing” as many as 60,000 drug samples used in 34,000 criminal cases over the past eight to nine years. The count of current inmates affected is now over 1,100. “Dry-labbing” is a term used in the laboratory community for when a person claims to follow proper protocols for research and testing, but in reality, pulled the results out of thin air without doing any research or testing.  For ... Read More »

New Kansas Test Refusal Law – Strictly Enforced

On July 1, 2012, the Kansas Legislature’s new test refusal law criminalizing the refusal of a requested blood, breath, or urine test went into effect.  Over the past 2 months, I have seen this new law rigorously enforced.  Basically, if during a DUI investigation the driver refuses to submit to the officer’s request for a test, the main element of the charge is met.  It is, however, important to know that a Refusal can only be charged in regard to ... Read More »

How “Expert” Are Cops at Detecting Alcohol Impairment?

The drunk driving case rests heavily upon the subjective opinions of the arresting officer — the abilities of that officer to correctly assess DUI symptoms of intoxication: observations of driving, personal symptoms (slurred speech, flushed face, etc.), answers to questions, performance on field sobriety tests. It is his DUI report (and his opinion in that report) which will largely determine what, if any, criminal charges will be filed by the prosecutor; his decision which will or will not result in ... Read More »

Georgia Police Increasing DUI Enforcement for Labor Day Weekend

As the season winds down and end-of-summer celebrations ramp up, authorities throughout Georgia are launching a crackdown on drunken driving. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety announced Friday that police, sheriff’s deputies and state troopers will be aggressively looking to pull over and arrest impaired drivers from now through the Labor Day weekend. State officials say 298 people were killed in highway crashes that were alcohol-related in Georgia in 2010. That was roughly one-fourth of all ... Read More »

DUI by Ambien® – Sleep Driving

Did you realize that you may commit the crime of driving under the influence of an intoxicant (DUI) even if you are taking medication prescribed by your physician.  Once again, the national media has brought attention to the public about people who “sleep drive.” In mid July, 2012, Kerry Kennedy was arrested in New York after crashing her vehicle which some reported was caused by Ambien® induced sleep driving.  U.S. commerce Secretary John Bryson suffered a similar incident in June, ... Read More »

The Field Sobriety “Eye Test”: Science or Fraud?

The critical part of any pre-arrest drunk driving investigation is the administration of the “field sobriety tests” (FSTs).  These usually consist of a battery of excercises involving balance, coordination and mental agility — and are difficult to perform for even a sober person under ideal conditions (see “Field Sobriety Tests: Designed for Failure?“). Although there are many different tests (walk-and-turn, finger-to-nose, one-leg-stand, etc.), an increasing number of law enforcement agencies are requiring their officers to use only the federally-recommended battery of ... Read More »

2012 Tennessee DUI Legislation Update

Tennessee DUI Laws 2012 Two new Tennessee DUI laws now make it more difficult to defend persons accused of driving under the influence.  In another change, the DUI penalty when the driver is accompanied by someone under the age of 18 has increased. The 2012 Tennessee Legislature amended Tennessee Code Annotated § 55-10-406 (the Implied Consent Law).  This law applies after an officer concludes that a person is probably under the influence of an intoxicant and then requests the suspect ... Read More »

California Gets Tough on Nurse DUI Laws

Nurse DUI Laws in California It used to be the case that nurses would not run into a problem with the California Board of Registered Nursing for a first offense DUI conviction. At most, the nurse might be asked to submit a copy of the police report and explain what he or she is doing to avoid any future problems with the law. Although this remains generally the case, formal disciplinary action may be instituted by the Attorney General where ... Read More »