Blog

The NCDD Blog is for our members to comment on matters of general interest in the field of DUI Defense and to ask general questions concerning the topics posted.   NCDD does not monitor or control answers from the various lawyers (many of whom are regarded as among the best in the country) who may respond and the answers or comments they provide are solely their own.  Responses to questions and comments are not legal advice: they are only the opinions of the lawyer providing the answer or making the comment. No attorney client relationship is formed between the person who posts a question or comment and any attorney who posts an answer or comment. The NCDD Blog is not for the purpose of soliciting legal advice for any specific case and should not be relied upon for that purpose. No lawyer can provide advice for a specific case without far more information than can be included in a blog post.   Furthermore, the NCDD Blog is not to be used in any form, for any marketing, advertising or solicitation by any author.  If you need legal assistance or advice, consult a lawyer in your state. You can find NCDD member lawyers in your State listed under “Find an Attorney” in the menu to the left or at the top of the page. No opinion expressed by an attorney or other person on the NCDD Blog represents the opinion or views of the NCDD.



Updates from the National Forensic Science Commission

The National Forensic Science Commission has fully reported on its last two meetings. Of concern, currently there are no practicing private criminal defense attorneys on the Commission.  As of meeting ten, the Commission has come up with 14 recommendations to the United States Attorney General. Here are some highlights.

Meeting ten occurred on June 20-21, 2016 in Washington, D.C. The Commission reported that it is their view ...read more

Stars in the Universe: 2016 Legacy Members in the Spotlight

We at NCDD honor the lives of those we lost in 2016:

 

 

 

Richard Koch was a 1971 graduate of the University of Nebraska Law School, a founding member of the Koch & Garvis law firm, and helped found the National College of DUI Defense, as well as the Minnesota Society ...read more

Our Tone Matters (Particularly in More Difficult Cases)

Our Tone Matters – Particularly In More Difficult Cases

 

Update from the NCDD Forensics Committee

There have been 9 committee meetings by the NCFS (National Commission on Forensic Science) created by the Obama administration. The commission is comprised of scientists, judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers.  Here are the highlights from each meeting:

 

Meeting 1: Update from the NIST committees, the objective focus has been on strengthening forensic science in the United States.

read more

Why All Young Lawyers Should Attend NCDD's Summer Session

All Young Lawyers Should Attend the NCDD’s Summer Session

 

I will never forget my first NCDD summer session. It was seven years ago and I was fresh out of law school. I’d been hired to work for Andrew Mishlove on a Monday, and was on a plane to Boston the following Wednesday.  Having never handled a DUI case, I had no idea what to expect, but was hungry for experience and eager to impress my new boss.  I could never have imagined the profound impact that ...read more

My Summer Session Experience

It was my pleasure to attend and participate in the National College of DUI Defense Summer Program.  There were many familiar faces in the crowd and many renewed friendships.  This year I was most impressed with, not only the quality of the program but the increase in the number of women attending.  We had the opportunity to gather together for a group photograph, many rows deep and full of accomplished litigators.  It was a far cry from my days as a new lawyer.

 

I ...read more

Some Useful Tips for Getting the Most from the NCDD List Serve

If you are like me, I spend a LOT of time reading all the posts on the Listserve.  I truly believe it is one of the very best benefits of membership of the NCDD!  Sometimes, however, it may seem like certain days there are hundreds of emails that come through and keeping up can be time consuming.  Below are excerpts from training with Google!  Thanks for  being a part of the NCDD family!

 

CLEAN UP CONVERSATIONS

A conversation ...read more

Board Certification for You

In 2001 when I applied for Board Certification, the designation was in its infancy. I have since been recertified twice. Preparation, then and now, really consists of being a solid DUI defense lawyer and brushing up on some statistics. You cannot, and should not, cram for this exam. There’s a lot of talk about how difficult the exam is, but if you know your stuff because you’re immersed in it every day, all you really need to do is refresh your memory on some of the finer points on ...read more

How NCDD's Board Certification Program Became ABA Approved

Our Certification Committee is often asked how the NCDD Board Certification Program came to be approved by the American Bar Association (ABA). In response to this query, allow me to provide a historical perspective.

 

In the mid-1990s, the NCDD made a historical commitment to create a Certification Program and focus on the promotion of Board Certification for DUI Defense across the nation. This need was necessitated by the concern for those accused of DUI who were (and continue) ...read more

Preparing for Board Certification

One of the very best experiences in preparing for Board Certification was that I talked myself through the fundamentals of being a successful DUI specialist:  Knowledge, Preparation, Training and Talent.  Reviewing the knowledge that I gained by being in court every day, running motions, talking with other DUI attorneys, reaching out to my mentors and getting “back to the basics,” helped me organize and prepare for the written and practical part of the test.  I also ...read more

Yes, You Should Take NCDD's Board Certification Exam

Is it demanding?  Yes.  Is it challenging?  For sure.  Will it make you a better lawyer?  Hell yes.  And that reason alone is why you should take NCDD’s Board Certification Exam. I practice in Washington State, where specialties and Board Certifications are not recognized by my State Bar Association.  I had the same thoughts that many good DUI lawyers have – why should I take it?  What is the benefit?  Since my state doesn’t recognize ...read more

Why You Should Take NCDD's Board Certification Exam

Why Take the Board Certification?

 

For many years, I was of the opinion that I didn’t need to take the Board Certification test. Oklahoma didn’t recognize certification. I have never been asked by a potential client about it. I was competing for and signing up cases without it. I took the bar exam and wasn’t taken any more exams. I had lots of reasons why I didn’t need it.

Truth was that I wasn’t up for the challenge. Was I really good enough ...read more

How to Tackle NCDD's Board Certification Exam

You may have heard how difficult the DUI Board Certification test is. Unfortunately, there are many among us who allow themselves to be discouraged from taking the test because they have allowed themselves to believe it is too difficult.

 

The truth however, in my experience is a little different. Taking the test begins with the application process. This part of the task can seem to be the most difficult as you or your assistant must dredge up old files to find dispositions ...read more

The Great Dichotomy of Birchfield v. North Dakota

There are various aspects to the United States Supreme Court’s recent holding in Birchfield v. North Dakota (2016) ___ U.S. ___ (Docket No. 14-1468) that trial and appellate courts will have to address in future cases. A couple of them derive from the following two paragraphs in the opinion:

“It is true that a blood test, unlike a breath test, may be administered to a person who is unconscious (perhaps as a result of a crash) or who is unable to do what is needed to take a breath ...read more

The Incredible Shrinking Fourth Amendment

The Supreme Court decided two Fourth Amendment cases this week that diminish our freedom from police searches.  The Fourth Amendment says:

 

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to ...read more

Can you travel to Canada after being convicted of a DWI or DUI?

 

Entering Canada after a DUI or DWI Conviction

If you have been convicted for a DWI, entering Canada may be a challenging proposition. This is especially true if your conviction was in the last 10 years. This article outlines the Canadian laws that create a barrier to entry and offer three solutions for individuals who have been convicted of DWI or DUI and wish to enter Canada.

 

How DUI or DWI Convictions May Bar a Person’s Entry into Canada

 

Under ...read more

Going Against the Government's Adminstrative Scheme

When decisions are made behind closed doors, it’s that much harder to get your hands on the evidence of impropriety in the decision making process. That’s what happened with British Columbia’s drunk driving scheme. When we finally got the evidence that Administrative Adjudicators were being told how to decide cases, we went to use the evidence for the benefit of our clients. The Government then sued us to force the truth back into the shadows.

 

Last week we ...read more

The Oldest Question In the Book: Do You Take a Test?

Well, it may not be the oldest question, but it may be the most important. Since the 1940’s and the onset of cheap breath/blood alcohol testing, it is one that lawyers and defendants must initially face following a DWI arrest. Should your client take the test?

 

The answer to this, like everything else in law, is it depends. Like predicting the weather, the answer to this question turns on a variety of factors. While much of what I say here may be useful nationally, because ...read more

How the 2016 NCDD Winter Session Helped My Client

I attended the NCDD’s 2016 Winter Session in Marina Del Rey for the sole purpose of learning how to try the hell out of a Pot DUI case that I had coming up for trial.  I continued that trial until after the Winter Session, which was probably the smartest thing I could have done.  George Bianchi’s materials on “Cannabis and Cars” was extremely helpful to me in understanding the basics on THC, Hydroxy-THC and Carboxy-THC.  Additionally, the DRE and ARIDE Overview ...read more

Justice Scalia, One of the Last Champions for the Rights of the Accused?

The recent passing of Justice Antonin Scalia has surely ignited a political firestorm.  But as students of the law, we should take time to carefully examine who Justice Scalia really was aside from all the political posturing and chest puffing.  Clearly, some of his positions on abortion rights, the right to marriage equality, the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, do not sit well with a large portion of our country.  However, a more focused examination of his opinions that ...read more

Experts in DWI cases

Criminal Defense Attorney Benson Varghese explains the types of experts commonly used in DWI cases and considerations to keep in mind before deciding to use an expert in an intoxication-related case.

 

 

                    ...read more

My First NCDD Winter Session Thanks to the NCDD Diversity Committee

Warm Wishes from our DIVERSITY STAR AMANDA RIEK!

 

 

The NCDD “Cannabis and Cars” winter session surpassed my expectations. It allowed me to become familiar with and keep a pulse on the rapidly emerging field of marijuana impaired driving. The presentations were comprehensive, captivating, and cutting edge. It was the perfect blend of legal updates, science (or lack thereof), and inside information about the direction ...read more

My First Winter Session, Thanks to the NCDD Diversity Committee

Must be something about the cold weather that made everyone so enjoy Winter Session!  Read what our DIVERSITY COMMITTEE STAR YANINA TABACHNIKOVA had to say:

 

I cannot express how thankful I am for the diversity scholarship the NCDD granted me to attend the winter session.  I learned a tremendous amount from the seminar and was inspired by the friendly and truly collegial atmosphere of the college. I especially found helpful the presentation on lab ...read more

News from the NCDD Diversity Committee

The Diversity Committee is looking for volunteers who would like to be identified as part of our “STAR” Program (Searching for Talent Around our Regions). One of the goals for the Diversity Committee is to Select, Train, Advance and Retain quality members. At the time the Diversity Committee was started in 2012 under the direction of then Dean Troy McKinney, the Committee began as a way to recruit women and minorities into our organization. After funding was approved by the Board of ...read more

MARIJUANA & DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE: Some Tips from Your Virtual Librarian.

 

If there is anything you wanted to know about driving under the influence of marijuana, we’ve got it for you in the Virtual Library. George Bianci’s materials for the Winter Session covered just about anything you wanted to know. From the Blood Analysis to the fallacy of the green tongue.

 

There is enhancement comparisons, odor perceptions studies, and research related to whether someone is impaired.

If you need something, follow the link ...read more

The Mouth Alcohol Defense: The Importance of Knowing The Machine

The Importance of Knowing the Breath Testing Device in Your Case

 

No breath test device can completely eliminate the mouth alcohol problem. However, understanding the established limitations of the device in your case is tremendously helpful. Map out the basic limitations of the machine that was used in your case.  For example, the Breathalyzer Models 900, 900A, and 1000, which are no longer in production, require the operator to determine when ...read more

An Introduction to the Mouth Alcohol Defense: Why Is It Important?

  1.                The Significance of “Mouth Alcohol” in Breath Testing

The mouth alcohol defense is premised upon the possibility of alcohol from some source other than alveolar air being measured by the testing device. It is important to recognize that the mouth alcohol defense is not limited to the presence of alcohol within the mouth. It is recognized within studies produced ...read more

Using SFST Validation Studies in Your Next DWI Trial

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) spent many thousands of dollars on studies to develop a battery of DWI investigation tools called field sobriety tests.College Station Standardized Field Sobriety Testing The studies were funded by NHTSA to validate and standardize the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN), the Walk-and-Turn, and the One-Leg-Stand tests. Standardization meant developing a method of administering and interpreting each test. Validation meant determining whether ...read more

NCDD Members Gerstenzang and Epstein To Serve as Legal Defense Experts at Roundtable Discussion Held at the Department of Transportation Conference Center in Washington

Peter Gerstenzang and Steven Epstein Will Serve as Legal Defense Experts at an August 24th Roundtable Discussion Held at the Department of Transportation Conference Center in Washington, D.C.

 

Two NCDD members, Peter Gerstenzang and Steven Epstein, will ...read more

Impaired Driving in Canada: Cost and Effect of a Conviction

By Jordan Tekenos-Levy (Aitken Robertson Professional Corporation)

 

            ‘Impaired Driving’ is the official vernacular in Ontario and constitutes the equivalent of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) in the United States. Many people confuse this styling of terms as a result of American media and the high frequency of American news that is broadcasted in Canada. This paper serves to explain the definition ...read more

Florida Bar Association to Recognize NCDD Board Certification Exam

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is pleased to announce that The Florida Bar has approved the NCDD as the sole certifying body for DUI Defense lawyers in Florida seeking board certification in this specialty area of the practice of law.  This is truly a welcome announcement for The College as it has been a goal several years in the making.  Our application has been the subject of strict scrutiny by the Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization & Education (BLSE), and the ...read more

The Real Financial Costs of a DUI

The Real Financial Costs of a DUI

By Lavinia Inbar

Aitken Robertson Professional Corporation\

Ontario, Canada

 

It is common knowledge that if a person is convicted of a drinking and driving offence, the financial costs to that person will be high. But just how high? This article provides a breakdown of most of the direct financial costs of a drinking and driving conviction in Ontario.

 

The ...read more

DWI Asleep & Parked in Your Vehicle

You decide you have had too much, and you feel the right thing to do is pull over and sleep it off. Is this a DWI? According to a Tarrant County judge in a bench trial in case number 1366316, decided on February 12, 2015- yes it is. Do I respectfully disagree with the decision? Yes.

 

Here are the facts: my guy (Mr. “H”) was asleep in his legally parked car at a QuikTrip in Keller, Texas. No one saw him drive. No one called the police on him. The QuikTrip attendant ...read more

MADD the Interlock and the Future of DUI Defense

MADD, the Interlock Industry, and the future of DUI/DWI offenses


I have the advantage after nearly forty (40) years professional life in criminal justice of seeing both sides of the equation involving DUI enforcement and DUI defense. In the first part of my adult life, I was a state trooper and saw the early stages of the “war on drunk driving” or “war on drunk drivers” (take your pick)…in the early 1980s, the concern really was “drunk driving” ...read more

Justice Through Knowledge: An introduction to the value of NCDD Seminars

The last time I looked, I had one hundred and seventy cases listing my name as the defense

attorney. That’s one hundred and seventy instances in which I am responsible for helping someone in a

time of trouble. The cases vary; so do the clients. However, I never want the quality of my

representation to vary. I love my job. I love who and what I represent. I love my late hours and my small

victories. Nevertheless, the difficulty of finding the balance between staying ...read more

Free Public Defender Training - Birmingham, AL

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is proud to announce that on Friday, February 20, 2015 we will be providing a training for public defenders at no charge to the participants in Birmingham, Alabama.  Fellow Tommy Kirk will illustrate how to win through opening statements and closing arguments. ...read more

NCDD To Offer Public Defender Training in Wyoming February 6, 2015

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is proud to announce that on Friday, February 6, 2015 we will be providing a training for public defenders at no charge to the participants in Caspar, Wyoming.  Fellow Les Hulnick will demonstrate how to attack field sobriety tests and teach how to cross-examine the arresting officer.  Regent Doug Murphy will show attendees how to contest breath test evidence and explain how to attack DRE evaluations.  ...read more

Ten Things to Know About DWIs and Your License in Texas

By Fort Worth DWI Attorney Benson Varghese


An arrest for Driving While Intoxicated in Texas carries ...read more

Free Public Defender Training in Florida

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is proud to announce that on Wednesday, January 21, 2015, we will be providing a training for public defenders in Florida, at no cost to the attendees. Dean Steve Jones will teach attendees how to give more effective closing arguments. Fellow Steve Oberman will explain how to use the 2014 SFST manuals in cross-examination. Regent Lenny Stamm will demonstrate how to conduct more effective ...read more

The Oldest Question: Does Your Client Take a Test?

Well, it may not be the oldest question, but it may be the most important. Since the 1940’s and the onset of cheap breath alcohol testing, it is one that lawyers and defendants must initially face following a DWI arrest. Should you or shouldn’t you tell your client to take the test?


The answer to this, like everything else in law, is it depends. Like predicting the weather, the answer to this question turns on a variety of factors. While much of what I say here may be useful ...read more

New York Court of Appeals Reffirms Allegiance to Aguilar-Spinelli

In People v. Johnson, a Deputy Sheriff armed with a 911 call describing “a sick or intoxicated motorist” stopped the Appellant for a “wide right hand turn” well outside of his jurisdictional limit. At a Mapp hearing (Mapp v. Ohio, 367 U.S. 643, 81 S.Ct. 1684 [1961]) to determine whether there existed sufficient probable cause for the stop of the vehicle, the Deputy admitted that he did not know the identity of the caller or the basis upon which the allegation was made. Since the Deputy ...read more

NCDD Diversity Committee to Sponsor Scholarships for Attendance at NCDD Seminars

The Diversity Committee of the National College for DUI Defense is pleased to announce that we are able to sponsor scholarships for partial, and sometimes full tuition fees at each of our four main seminars throughout the year. NCDD encourages minorities and woman to become better educated DUI/DWI defense attorneys through attendance at our seminars. In addition to the excitement of additional knowledge and skills learned by attending our seminars, we encourage our members to enjoy the friendships ...read more

Juror Can’t Focus- Rushed Into Judgment: Wrong!

The Court of Criminal Appeals (the highest court in Texas) rendered that a rushed juror who regretted his decision and cooperated with the defense in a motion for new

trial is not good enough evidence to overturn a verdict. In Colyer v. State, 428 S.W. 3d, 117 (2014), the jury foreperson testified that his verdict was not a true verdict because he ...read more

If You Drink Alcohol, You Should Read This- They Will Get a Warrant for Your Blood and Then...

The Texas Department of Public Safety laboratory in Houston was responsible for thousands of botched results (some completely fraudulent) because of lab analyst read more

Judge Chastises Jury After Verdict: Tells Them They Got It Wrong

Ohio Judge Amy Salerno is under heat now for approaching and chastising a jury after they found the defendant (name protected for expunction purposes the defendant may pursue) Not Guilty of Assault and Disorderly Conduct. She told them “99% of the time the jury is correct. Now it’s 98%. You got this wrong.” One juror, feeling berated, burst into tears and ...read more

My Time at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College

If I am to be trusted, I must be trustworthy. This seems like a basic moral principle and life rule – a little bit too trite to even spell out on paper. In a world, however, of sophisticated marketing, political mudslinging, and insincere lawyering, it bears repeating: If I am to be trusted, I must be trustworthy.


I recently spent 23 days at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, in Dubois Wyoming. There were fifty lawyers there from all over the country, living as students, ...read more

NCDD Wisconsin Public Defender Seminar an Overwhelming Success

Back row, l to r: Joe St. Louis, Andrew Mishlove, Aaron Nelson, Deja Vishny, Karyn Missimer and Emily Bell; Front row: Lauren Stuckert, Lenny Stamm and Janine Arvizu. Not pictured: Mary McMurray, Michelle Tjader and Dennis Melowski.


read more

NCDD to Train Public Defenders in Wisconsin

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is proud to announce that on October 8,9, and 10, 2014, we will be providing a free, three-day seminar for public defenders in Wisconsin.  Wisconsinite and Regent Andrew Mishlove organized this seminar to provide a higher level of DUI defense education to those tireless warriors in the indigent defense community.

 

Regent Joe St. Louis, from Arizona, ...read more

Power Nap or DUI, That is the Question

Author’s note: This piece was written with respect to current DUI laws in the sate of Florida. DUI laws vary by state.

 

If you are intoxicated and asleep at the wheel of a non-moving car, you can be charged with DUI (even if the ignition is off)!  Following are a few basics you need to know about drinking and driving.

 

Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve had more to drink than you planned, and need a safe way ...read more

DeKalb County, Illinois - DUI Checkpoint - Man v. Illinois State Trooper - Video

http://www.mintpressnews.com/video-belligerent-cop-loses-it-on-man-for-exercising-his-rights/196836/ 


A must see video of a young man questioning the legality of a DUI Roadblock and the officer’s complete meltdown on him.       ...read more

NCDD to Train Public Defenders in North Carolina

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is proud to announce that on Friday, April 17, 2015 we will be providing a free training for court-appointed attorneys in North Carolina.  Dean Emeritus Peter Gerstenzang will teach attendees how to challenge breath tests.  Fellow Les Hulnick will demonstrate how to attack field sobriety tests.  Regent Virginia Landry will show attendees how to contest blood test evidence.  ...read more

NCDD PUblic Defender Training in Connecticut

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is proud to announce that on Tuesday, October 21, 2014 we will be providing a free training for public defenders in Connecticut. Fellow Steve Oberman will be teaching cross-examination on standardized field sobriety tests. Regent Bruce Edge will be teaching how to use a theme throughout a trial. NCDD Faculty member George Flowers will be teaching how to challenge breath tests. NCDD Faculty ...read more

Now Silence May Be Used Against You, So Know What To Say

 

Now Silence May Be Used Against You, So Know What To Say

 

     The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, “No person…shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself…”  Not only does the right apply at trial, but it also applies during custodial interrogation.  Thus, once a suspect is under arrest he has the right to remain silent and not incriminate ...read more

A Summer Session Perspective, From a First Time Attendee

Another CLE…Another seminar…Another day away from the office with unanswered phone calls and problems to come back to on Monday morning. Or so I thought… The NCDD Harvard experience was exciting, the curriculum cutting edge leaving its attendees refreshed for Monday morning.


One of the most unique things about the Harvard experience were the breakout sessions. Well versed and experienced DWI/DUI attorneys led each group which consisted of 5 students. Attendees were given ...read more

The ABA Has Re-Certified the NCDD as the Sole Certifying Body for DUI Defense Specialists in this Country.

The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. is pleased to announce that on August 11, 2014, the American Bar Association officially approved the renewal application of the NCDD for another 5 years. In 2004, The National College for DUI Defense, Inc. (NCDD) became accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA) to certify lawyers as specialists in the practice area of DUI Defense Law. The NCDD is the only organization in the ...read more

Lying Expert Witnesses: The Shabby State of Criminal Justice in Our Country

The American Criminal Justice System: “Houston, We have a Problem.”


Mark Fuhrman, convicted of a felony perjury after the O.J. Simpson trial, is now a national Fox legal analyst, an “expert witness” on police matters. Last week, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati, Ohio, ruled “Dr.” James Ferguson, a state toxicologist, convicted of perjury, could NOT be sued or found liable for lying in a murder case where his expert witness testimony was relied upon ...read more

Judge Punches Defense Lawyer. The Big Picture.

 


What is wrong with this picture? On the surface of it, it looks like a judge challenged a defense lawyer to a fight and they both mutually agreed to duke it out behind the courtroom. However, this is NOT the case at all for MANY reasons. When you watch recent news clips, you don’t see defense lawyers telling news reporters that Judge John Murphy has “issues.” No, of course not ! How could they expect to get good plea bargains, rulings and judgments from ...read more

Involuntary Intoxication

“I no longer knew what was real and what wasn’t. The lines between reality and delusion had become so blurred.” ― A.B. Shepherd, The Beacon

 

This is what has happened to judges in courts across Texas when it comes to DWI charges. The penal code was created to punish crime and thereby deter others from committing the same crime. Most crimes involve people making bad moral choices, choices that hurt others. Most crimes involve intent ...read more

McNeely Continued: Do Warrantless Breath Tests Violate the Fourth Amendment?

In Missouri v. McNeely, the Supreme Court held: “In those drunk-driving investigations where police officers can reasonably obtain a warrant before a blood sample can be drawn without significantly undermining the efficacy ...read more

Man blows 0.00 on breathalyzer, gets arrested for DWI


http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/oddnews/man-blows-0-00-on-breathalyzer--gets-arrested-for-dwi-003450614.html

Many people falsely believe that if they pass a breath test, they will be free to go and not be charged with DWI/DUI.  This belief is a fallacy.  Take for instance Larry Davis, an Austin man arrested and charged with DWI even though he blew 0.00% on an Intoxilyzer 5000 (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/oddnews/man-blows-0-00-on-breathalyzer–gets-arrested-for-dwi-003450614.html). ...read more

Prosecutions for Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana Based Upon Unreliable Evidence

Due to the rise in the use of marijuana all over the country, including the state of Michigan, police are now being trained to investigate driving under the influence of marijuana and other drugs. It is the new craze in law enforcement but, because it is not as easy to detect and

identify as alcohol, false arrests and prosecutions are much more common. Law enforcement incorrectly believes that identifying persons intoxicated from drugs is the same as alcohol. ...read more

Are Prosecutor's Office Policies Legal?


http://duinewsblog.org/2013/09/27/prosecutors-office-policies-legal/

Legislatures, representatives of the people, write the laws NOT prosecutors. Each legal law is a result of a complex process involving everything from public hearings, citizen and lobbyist input to sworn testimony. Penal code statutes have punishment ranges for a reason. Not everyone deserves to be treated the same when it comes to the same offense. Prosecutors are circumventing the laws by substituting their own punishment ranges in the form of “office policies” rather than considering ...read more





The Attention Needed for TSA Abuse



This video demonstrates the abuse of power that we as an advanced society must study and address. In 1971 Philip Zimbardo picked 24 Stanford University students & had them role play a simulated prisoner- guard experiment over six days. The results simulate what this TSA video so ashamedly shows the propensity for- psychological abuse. 

It is inexcusable that all the way up the chain of command in this video the TSA employees were unfamiliar with the regulations that ...read more

NCDD Board Certification - Want to Learn More?

On behalf of the Board of Regents of the National College for DUI Defense, we are please to provide some important information regarding the College’s Board Certification program. In an effort to assist the public in recognizing lawyers who focus their practice on defending those accused of DUI and who have demonstrated their competence to do so, the National College for DUI Defense committed itself early in its history to institute a board certification program for DUI Defense Law ...read more

Hero or Harasser ? Hero I Say.



Man gets arrested for warning drivers about upcoming speed traps. He is also against how the speed traps are being enforced (cops hiding behind signs and jetting out weaving in and out of traffic to catch the speeders is more dangerous than most of the speeding driving they are pursuing). My two cents: this is a free country, he has a right to protest, and he makes a good point. I realize most cities now earn a necessary part of their administration fees through the traffic ticket fines ...read more

Oral argument in Navarette v. California - or - Can Police Stop a Car for a Crime That Can't be Prosecuted?

The U.S. Supreme Court held oral argument last week in the case of Navarette v. California. This case presents the important issue of when police can stop a car based on an anonymous tip without corroborating the details provided by the caller. An anonymous caller informed police that Navarette’s vehicle was driving recklessly and almost ran them off the road. The caller provided a description of the vehicle. Police spotted the vehicle 19 miles down the road and followed for another ...read more

Diversity and the National College for DUI Defense

NCDD has established a Diversity Committee to find, recruit and assist minority attorneys to become members of the College.  We are reaching out to each state (through the Diversity Committee Members, our State Delegates and each individual member) to implement our STAR program (to Search for Talent And Recruit).  One of our primary goals is to develop and train STARS to continue to further their professional learning ...read more

Two American Stories that Illustrate the Presumption of Innocence

A DUI defense lawyer must be a scientist and a legal scholar.  The most important skill of any trial lawyer, however, is storytelling. Stories are what we use to give emotional depth and impact to dry legal concepts.  Personal stories are often best but sometimes stories from history are effective.

I have often used the story of the Boston Massacre trial to illustrate the significance of the jury system and the importance of the ...read more

The Aging Process and Field Sobriety Tests


http://duinewsblog.org/2013/10/02/aging-process-field-sobriety-tests/



The Aging Process and Field Sobriety Tests

By: Mimi Coffey

It is not surprising that every year 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with cancer1, the second leading cause of death next to heart disease. It should be surprising that there are also approximately 1.4 million DWI/DUI ...read more

A Chance to Rethink DUI Checkpoints


http://www.christianpost.com/news/dui-checkpoints-yay-or-nay-109476/

I wanted to re-post this very well written article from Rachel Alexander, who is an attorney and the editor of the Intellectual Conservative.

DUI
sobriety checkpoints, also known as roadblocks, are one of those things that
sound good until you think it through. No one wants drunk drivers on the road.
But no one wants texters or people eating lunch on the road, either, which are
even more dangerous. In order to ...read more

The Science of Fear and Field Sobriety Testing


http://duinewsblog.org/2013/09/16/the-science-of-fear-field-sobriety-tests/

Read the Article here!

The Science of Fear & field sobriety tests:

Fear is not just mental. It is physical. It is involuntary. It causes one to lose normal mental and physical faculties. The field sobriety tests were developed in  a vacuum. The greatest travesty NHTSA perpetuates on our citizenry is the application ...read more

Blood Testing- Fermentation


http://duinewsblog.org/2013/05/22/blood-testing-fermentation/


On the topic of blood testing:
 Blood Test practice tip:
“1-propanol, acetaldehyde, acetone, 2-propanol,
isobutanol… have been considered as biochemical markers.. to be flagged as
suspicious for microbial contamination.” Forensic Science Intl 174(2008)
133-151  Have seen many client chromatograms with these compounds……  Blood
testing needs to be regulated. In Texas there are NO regulations for blood
testing. ...read more

Orange County Crime Lab Blood Error Effects More DUI Defendants Than Government Acknowledges


http://www.duilawyerorangecounty.com/blog/tag/oc-crime-lab-blood-test-over-reporting


The District Attorney of Orange County California and the Orange County Crime Lab have acknowledged that errors were made in the calibration of their blood testing equipment in DUI cases which effected the final analysis of forensic blood tests.  Their public comments however minimize the scope of the problem by suggesting that the only citizens effected by their forensic flaws were those with marginal blood alchol levels in the 0.08% range and then boldly profess that ...read more

DWI/DUI Marijuana


http://duinewsblog.org/2013/03/13/dwidui-marijuana/



This news article demonstrates the fervor of law enforcement to get a DWI/DUI even when there is no evidence. A person may show from a toxicology screen that they may have THC in their system with no evidence of impairment at the time of driving (some of these tests may show positive if the person smoked in the last 6 weeks).  Scary stuff.

read more

The Dirty DUI


http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Ex-cop-Tanabe-convicted-in-Dirty-DUI-scandal-4784564.php

In the quiet community of Danville, California, desperate people will do desperate things.  And what greed can do to an individual is only topped by what it can do to our entire system of justice.  Gordon Gecko may have said “greed is good” but in American jurisprudence, it is toxic.  And so goes the story of the “Dirty DUIs.”

It all began in in the late 1990′s in Contra Costa County, California.  That’s where Deputy Stephen Tanabe met fellow Deputy ...read more

Oklahoma Breath Tests are Invalid

Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals recently decided 6 combined cases regarding the validity of the breath test affidavit. Tulsa attorney Bruce Edge of Tulsa and Oklahoma City attorney John Hunsucker combined forces to bring this issue to a head

Because of their action—ALL breath tests and refusals where the affidavit was printed on the Intoxilyzer 8000 are invalid. This decision was handed down on October ...read more

Do the Police Have to Read Miranda Rights to Me, When I am Arrested?

The short answer is “No.” The triggering event for Miranda
Rights is whether you are in custody or not. If you are not in custody, the
police can ask you whatever they want to ask, and if you give an incriminating
response, they can use it against you in a court of law. That’s why the police
will sometimes conduct criminal investigations over the phone. A detective may
have a report of a crime and suspect that a specific person is involved. The
detective ...read more




http://youtu.be/JlBJGG4cLG8

The Downfall of the State of Colorado's DUI Blood Testing Laboratory

There were signs that the Colorado Department of Health’s Laboratory Services Division had problems long before the bottom fell out in June. Many persistent Colorado DUI attorneys challenged the former supervisor of the state’s toxicology laboratory over a long period of time. (Chet Hardin, read more

The Scandalous Tale of the Tampa Bay Setup


http://www.tampabay.com/news/courts/prosecutors-drop-dui-charge-against-todd-mj-schnitts-attorney-citing-set-up/2133760

As Chairman of the NCDD Website Committee, I get the pleasure of tweeting news stories on behalf of the College.  Perhaps you follow us @NCDDNews.  Occasionally, you come upon a story that is too good not to share.  I followed this story for several months and I now want to share it with you.  

Ever heard the phrase, “truth is sometimes stranger than fiction?”  Well here is a tale that certainly personifies that.  It is the story of Tampa Bay attorney ...read more

Speaking of Reviews

Were we?  Maybe not, but at any rate, the proliferation of reviewing websites are something that have been on my mind for a while.  It all started when Jill and I had to buy a new dishwasher.  The old one was a Kitchen Aid, which worked quite fine . . . until it didn’t.  I immediately told our appliance guy that it only seemed reasonable that the new one should be a Kitchen Aid as well.  He agreed, texted me a couple model numbers and Jill being Jill, immediately began ...read more

Are Breath Tests Really Accurate?

Are Breath Tests Accurate?

 Keep in mind that a police-administered breath test creates an estimate of the amount of alcohol that is in your breath. Like all estimates, it can be accurate or inaccurate, depending upon the circumstance. However, breath alcohol levels do not necessarily accurately reflect blood alcohol levels. In other words, a sample of breath with a certain amount of alcohol in it may be accurately analyzed for the amount of alcohol in ...read more

It May End, But Not Because of Technology

I’m a bit of a futurist.  Well, maybe not as much as I used to be.  Age has that affect upon you.  It’s hard to be truly excited about a future that you probably will not be around to see!  I remember back at the turn of the century, I wrote a piece for one of the Gannett papers in which I contrasted, albeit favorably, predictions of the 21st century with what we actually achieved.  Not that we hadn’t accomplished a lot, but the century we were entering was ...read more

In State v Moore South Carolina Court of Appeals Issues a Significant Opinion in the Field of Traffic Stops and Search and Seizures


http://www.upstatedui.com/dui-blog/in-state-v-moore-south-carolina-court-of-appeals-issues-a-significant-opinion-in-the-field-of-traffic-stops-and-search-and-seizures/

CCase Name: State v Moore (South Carolina Court of Appeals,

Opinion No. 5160; filed July 17, 2013)
FACTS:

Officers Dale Owens, Donnie Gilbert, Ken Hancock and K-9 Deputy Jason
Carraway, all of the Spartanburg County, Sheriff’s Office) were patrolling US Interstate-85
in Spartanburg County around 1:00 a.m.  Owens observed the defendant
(Ashley Eugene Moore), traveling an estimated 10 miles an hour over the posted
speed limit.  ...read more

Building The Best DUI Lawyer

There’s a growing, and I think, necessary, trend for lawyers to specialize/concentrate in a niche area of law, giving clients the most effective and experienced representation for their case. Strong DUI laws and sinister law enforcement techniques require a high level of training and experience in DUI practice.

There is a blueprint for becoming an excellent DUI lawyer.

Just like anything else, it requires effort, discipline and a genuine desire to focus on that area ...read more

Ethics and Professionalism: 45 Years and Still Learning

The hardest part of writing or speaking about legal ethics and professionalism is to be able to do so in a manner that sounds neither superior nor arrogant.  Please trust that I feel neither.

I was raised in the practice of law at a very fortunate time, one in which a premium was placed on collegiality and mentorship and not bloodletting competition.  It was a time when you could just call any other lawyer, even one you did ...read more

The Death of DUI


www.TheMcShaneFirm.com

For a long time people have predicted the end of DUI. From a traffic safety point of view, this vision of no more DUI has been the stated goal of enforcement and also legislatures for time in memoriam.

For the longest time, many thought it could be achieved through stiffer sentencing and longer license suspensions. This tough enforcement policy has failed because DUI is not typically a crime of prolonged premeditation. Very few offenders when asked say that when they started ...read more

Is America More Concerned About Texting and Driving Than Drunk Driving?


http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/files/Driving-while-Texting-Six-Times-More-Dangerous-than-Driving-while-Drunk.html

Is America more concerned about texting and driving than drunk driving?  One recent study suggests that.  However, law enforcement and politicians have not raised their level of concern to that of the public’s.  Why is that?  The answer should be pretty obvious.  Police Departments will not get bigger budgets because they need more officers out on the streets to bust those texters.  Politicians will not get more votes by pounding on their chest and demanding tougher ...read more

Michigan to Host 1 Day Boot Camp on Breath Testing; Metrology and Case Issues

One of the top dui litigators and teachers in the country headlines a 1 day seminar in the Motor City on September 21st. Justin “Encyclopedia” McShane will speak as the first of many nationwide experts on breath testing and metrology (the science of measurement). McShane will be followed by Ron Henson, PhD, who has been educating judges, juries, prosecutors and lawyers about breath testing technology and applications.



Ted Vosk, a scientist/lawyer who consulted with ...read more

Jury just says

The City of East Lansing pulled no punches in trying to convict a man of OWI based on his breath alcohol content. The man was pulled over for making an illegal turn in the middle of a street that was under construction with no traffic around. The officer smelled alcohol and asked him to step from the car after performing a “partial HGN” test on his eyes.



However, once the man stepped from the vehicle – that is when things got interesting. He performed the roadside ...read more

DC Attorney General Dismisses Intox. 5000 Cases


http://washingtonexaminer.com/local/dc/2011/02/dc-attorney-general-drops-drunken-driving-cases#

The District’s attorney general has dropped dozens of drunken driving cases since Jan. 31 and hundreds of others could be dropped as the police department shuts down its troubled alcohol breath-test program. Problems dating back more than three years with the city’s breath analyzers were first revealed in February 2010, when it was discovered the machines’ results were inaccurate. Since then, the D.C. medical examiner’s office has refused to sign off on the accuracy tests of new analysis ...read more

Drugs Found In One Of Three Drivers Killed In Crashes

One in Three Fatally Injured Drivers Tested Positive for Drugs

-New Traffic Fatality Analysis Reveals High Percentage of Drivers Killed Had Drugs In Their System; Percentage of Victims Testing Positive Increasing Even As Overall Number of Fatal Crashes is Declining – Washington, DC ­ Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), called attention to the alarmingly high percentage of  fatalities on our Nation¹s roadways involving drivers that had drugs ...read more

Jury Awards $89 Million In DUI Fatal Crash

Jury awards $89 million against drunken driver for fatal crash

ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH

11/25/2009

Franklin County — A jury has awarded $89 million in damages to the family of a man killed in a 2008 crash with a drunken driver, and to the man’s fiancée and daughter.

CRIME STATS

Get the breaking news from our St. Louis Crime Beat blog

See stats around St. Louis and the nation in our searchable database.

“The eye-popping ...read more

New Study Shows Decrease in DUI But Increase In Drugged Driving

The number of drunk drivers on the roads has fallen sharply during the past 30 years amid tougher laws, stiffer enforcement and a shift in societal views on alcohol, a government survey found Monday.

A roadside survey released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that 2.2 percent of drivers had blood-alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher in 2007. The results represented a steady decline compared with studies conducted since 1973, when 7.5 percent of the drivers surveyed ...read more

California Supreme Court holds that partition ratio evidence is admissable to challenge charge of driving under the influence of alcohol

The California Supreme Court has joined a handful of other courts in the country that have said Breathalyzer results mean different things for different people and ruled that suspected drunken drivers can attack the test results in court.


Defense attorneys lauded Thursday’s unanimous ruling for deferring to science, which has shown for years that the test results are highly variable. Prosecutors, however, predicted the move will undermine California drunken driving cases.


At ...read more