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Monthly ArchiveOctober 2007

DUI Defense &DUI Issues &Technology hudson on 30 Oct 2007

Beware PAS Device Testing Flaws

Check out this video, the lawyer demonstrates a flaw in the design and manufacture of the Draeger handheld breath test. The video supports the defense that law enforcement, by blocking the exit port of the device, can manipulate a below the legal limit test into an above the legal limit test. The video is a remarkable demonstration of a simple but effective method of producing incriminating evidence from an otherwise innocent person.

DUI Enforcement &DUI Law hudson on 22 Oct 2007

Roadblock Registry

If you ever want to know where a road block will be, or know of where a roadblock will be this site helps keep track of them. This website run by the National Motorists Association tries to document road blocks and generate a grass roots opposition to roadblocks. It also has information on what to do if you encounter a road block. If you want to provide information regarding a roadblock you can.

DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues hudson on 18 Oct 2007

In honor of the approaching “Drugged/Drunk Driving Prevention” Month

The attached “quick facts” are excerpted from the CDC website. I have commented several times on “how to lie with statistics” and encourage you to visit those posts. The simple fact is that the problem isn’t anywhere near as severe as Mother’s Against Drunk Driving would lead you to believe. In fact, one of the alcohol related deaths counted in this years statistics will be a man who, while drunk, fell asleep beneath a parked car, the sober driver drove off, killing the sleeping the drunk.

Quick Facts About Drunk and Drugged Driving

In 2005, 16,885 people died in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, accounting for 39% of all traffic-related deaths in the United States (NHTSA 2006).

An alcohol-related motor vehicle crash kills someone every 31 minutes and nonfatally injures someone every two minutes (NHTSA 2006).

Drugs other than alcohol (e.g., marijuana and cocaine) are involved in about 18% of motor vehicle driver deaths. These other drugs are generally used in combination with alcohol (Jones et al. 2003).

Each year, alcohol-related crashes in the United States cost about $51 billion (Blincoe et al. 2002).

Most drinking and driving episodes go undetected. In 2005, nearly 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics (Department of Justice 2005). That’s less than one percent of the 159 million self-reported episodes of alcohol–impaired driving among U.S. adults each year (Quinlan et al. 2005).

There are actions that work to prevent injuries due to impaired driving. To further decrease alcohol-related fatal crashes, communities need to implement and enforce strategies that are known to be effective, such as:

Sobriety checkpoints. Fatal crashes thought to involve alcohol dropped a median of 22% (with random breath testing) and 23% (with selective breath testing) following implementation of sobriety checkpoints.

0.08% BAC laws. Fatal alcohol-related crashes showed a median decrease of 7% following the implementation of 0.08% BAC laws in 16 states.

Minimum legal drinking age (MLDA) laws. Raising the MLDA, such as from 18 to 21, decreases crash-related outcomes a median of 16% for the targeted age groups.

“Zero tolerance” laws for young drivers. One study found that fatal crash outcomes decreased 24% after implementation of “zero tolerance” laws (Elder et al. 2002, Howat et al. 2004, Shults et al. 2001, Shults et al. 2002).

Alcohol Issues &DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues &DUI Law hudson on 14 Oct 2007

Zero Tolerance for DUI Probationers

The Governor has signed into law a statute that will impact anyone on probation for DUI. Effective January 1, 2009, if you are on probation for an alcohol related driving offense (DUI [V.C. 23152(a) or (b), DUI with injury [V.C. 23153(a) or (b)). The law changes means that the old probation requiring a probationer “not to drive with a measurable amount of alcohol” will now require a probationer’s blood alcohol measurement to be zero, meaning that a measurement of .01 or more can result in a probation violation.

The statute doesn’t change the legal requirement that the probationer be lawfully stopped, however, it does mean that the odor of an alcoholic beverage alone will most likley serve as grounds for a probation violation prosecution.

Alcohol Issues hudson on 10 Oct 2007

Alcoholism Treatment Drug

The migraine drug Topamax has been revealed to also help people suffering from alcoholism. The drug available by prescription apparently works as a dopamine inhibiter and prevents the “feel good” aspect of alcohol. By inhibiting the positive aspects of drinking alcohol participants in the study stopped drinking.

The subjects in the study were consumers of an average of 11 drinks per day, approximately a twelve pack of beer, two bottles of wine or a pint of 80 proof liquor. After taking the drug many of the study participants stopped drinking completely, the study did not require the participants to stop or even reduce their alcohol intake.

About one in five participants were unable to complete the study as the side effects, such as difficulty concentration, tingling, itching, drowsiness and dizziness.

The cost of the treatment is about $350/mo. not including the cost associated with medical doctor visits and oversight.

DUI Issues hudson on 05 Oct 2007

Know What You’re Taking

Many times we have client’s in our office who don’t know the names of the drugs they are taking (under medical supervision). We frequently need to match the description with the actual prescribed drug, this information helps our forensic toxicologist’s determine what if any drug interaction may be responsible for either physical observations of law enforcement or chemical test results. The website provided by the Medical University of South Carolina allows the user to select the shape, color, pattern and other identifying information that may be known. Upon entering some or all of the known information, the search engine provides the likely drug.

DUI Cases &DUI Defense &DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues hudson on 01 Oct 2007

Questionable Blood Tests Due to Failed Proficiency Tests

The Department of Justice in Watsonville revealed that two separate times in 2006 their breath testing program was flawed, so seriously that the 355 DUI cases affected may be dismissed. The issue arose because the Lab failed the proficiency testing conducted by the State Department of Health Services, while the District Attorney and Crime Lab down played the effect the failed proficiency tests had on the cases involved, the simple fact remained that the machines were not functioning properly, the results are tainted and the prosecutions should be dropped. If we can’t have faith in our prosecutor’s to do the right thing and protect the public from flawed chemical testing, who can we trust.