Image source: National Eye Institute https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Checking_Blood_Sample_(9955279835).jpg Can a patient seeking care at a hospital give a blood sample for the purposes of acquiring medical treatment while retaining their Fourth Amendment protections against unreasonable search and seizure of that sample of blood by the police? According to a recent Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals decision, the official answer is still unclear. On February 16, 2013, an Alabama driver struck and severely injured a pedestrian. The police arrived on the scene, and ... Read More »
Tag Archives: DUINewsBlog.org
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 »
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 »
Will .05% Become the New National Legal Limit?
On March 8, 2017, Utah lawmakers passed legislation to lower the legal limit for a driver’s blood alcohol level to 0.05%. On March 23, 2017, Utah’s governor Gary Herbert signed the bill into law, making Utah’s DUI threshold the lowest in the nation. The lowered blood alcohol limit will take effect in the state on December 30, 2018—just before New Year’s Eve. This is a distinct and separate law from Driving While Impaired or Driving Under the Influence. Accordingly, even if the ... Read More »
DECISION ON SCIENTIFIC RELIABILITY OF DRAGER 9510 IN MASSACHUSETTS
After hearing testimony over ten days, Judge Brennan of the Massachusetts district court department issued his decision regarding the defense bar’s challenge to the scientific reliability of the Draeger Alcotest 9510 breathalyzer, first deployed in Massachusetts in June 2012. The defense bar’s motion to exclude breath test results from the 9510 machines as evidence against defendants was allowed in part and denied in part. The court determined that the scope of its inquiry should include: 1) whether the source code ... Read More »
What Actually Happens In Your Body When You Get “Drunk”?
Drunk driving can lead to being arrested for Driving Under the Influence (DUI). Being arrested can add to the serious “hangover” you may have after consuming that much alcohol. But most people are not aware of what actually happens to your body once all that alcohol is consumed. Ash M. Richter has authored an article, “Every Time You Get Drunk, This Is What Happens To Your Body And Your Brain,” that explains the science behind the hangover. The consumption of ... Read More »
Tennessee Adopts a (Limited) Good-Faith Exception to the Warrant Requirement
On November 3, 2016, Tennessee joined the ranks of over a dozen states that have adopted a limited good faith exception to the search warrant requirement in a Tennessee DUI case that involves a warrantless blood draw. A blood draw for the purpose of determining a person’s blood alcohol content is a search under the Fourth Amendment, and a warrant is required unless an exception to the search warrant requirement applies. For example, some exceptions include consent to the blood ... Read More »
Tennessee Repeals New Underage DWI Law
July 1, 2016 was a highly anticipated day for many in Tennessee: for the very first time, wine was available for purchase in grocery stores. Gliding in under the radar, perhaps because of all the hype surrounding the grocery store wine revolution, were many other changes to Tennessee’s alcohol-related criminal laws. One such legislative update changed the way that Tennessee handled a small and categorically difficult class of individuals: underage DUI defendants. These are people ages 18 to 20, who ... Read More »
Tennessee Increases Jail Time for DUI Offenders with Six or More Convictions
Tennessee is again increasing penalties for multiple DUI offenders. The 2016 Tennessee General Assembly amended Tennessee Code Annotated §55-10-402 to penalize more severely those who are convicted with six or more DUI convictions. This change applies to anyone committing an offense on or after July 1, 2016. As the law currently stands, a conviction for a 4th or subsequent DUI offense is a Class E Felony, which has a punishment range of 1-6 years. Accordingly, the law does not change ... Read More »
Felony DUI Law Coming to Colorado?
Last year, Senate Democrats in Colorado killed a bill that would have made repeat DUI offenses a felony offense in Colorado, much to the surprise and chagrin of the proposed law’s supporters. But now a Weld County state representative is trying again, with a new bill that, if passed, would classify a charged driver’s third DUI in seven years as a class 4 felony. A class 4 felony carries a 2-6 year prison sentence followed by a mandatory 5 year period of parole. The ... Read More »