Blog - Public Policy

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.



Successful Criminal History Challenge in Kansas DUI Cases

In a recent appeal, No. 112828, I argued that Kansas can no longer use some Missouri DUI convictions because the acts prohibited by Missouri’s law differs from the acts prohibited by Kansas’ law.  The Kansas Court of Appeals ...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

Our Tone Matters (Particularly in More Difficult Cases)

Our Tone Matters – Particularly In More Difficult Cases

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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