Blog - Breath Testing

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.



What It Means to Be Board Certified

Board Certification as a DUI Defense Specialist through the National College of DUI Defense is the most meaningful and significant professional development in my DUI Defense Practice.  I am one of only two (2) lawyers practicing in New Hampshire with the designation and one of only (3) three practicing in Massachusetts with the designation. Prospective clients, colleagues and friends ask me, “what does the Board Certification mean?”  I tell them that following a rigorous ...read more

How the NCDD Board Certification Exam Became ABA Approved. By Steve Oberman.

Our Board 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 ...read more

3 Tips For Preparing To Take The Board Certification Exam

If you are considering taking the Board Certification examination, congratulations! You are taking a huge step forward in the quality of representation that you provide to your clients. You are making a huge investment in what type of lawyer you want to be. That is a great thing. So, I want to provide you with 3 simple tips that I believe will benefit you greatly in preparing for the exam. 

 

  1. It is never to early to begin compiling your application materials. Gathering ...read more

Board Certification: Its About a Lot More than You.

When I originally took the Board Certification Test for DUI Defense it was solely about me.  In fact, when I took it, the Florida Bar rules prohibited me from telling people I was Board Certified, however, I thought I was one of the better DUI attorneys in my area, but I had so much less experience than the others.  I wanted to prove to myself that I belonged among the best.  I worked hard to qualify to sit for the test and took it after being an ...read more

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

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.

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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

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

Breathing Patterns, the Unreliable Test Result and Your Virtual Library

When I see a breath test being given, I always hear, “keep blowing” or “blow harder”. These commands make the subject keep blowing long after they need to, and it helps the police insure the breath test is higher than the true BAC. Especially in close cases, to the legal limit, or the enhanced limit, it can result in the difference between a not guilty and a guilty verdict. The police have no concern about inflating the number when they are rewarded for making more DUI ...read more

Quality Assurance in Breath Testing and the Virtual Library

I assume that my breath tests operators are like many of yours. They do not know anything about what they are doing, and frankly, they don’t care. They believe that by burying their heads in the sand, they are able to rely upon their lack of knowledge about breath testing as a defense to your cross-examination. While the officers may try to hide behind ignorance, they should still be cross-examined on the scientific requirements for reliable and accurate breath testing procedures. Either ...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.

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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

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

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

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