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Monthly ArchiveJanuary 2008



DUI Enforcement &Notable DUI Defendants hudson on 28 Jan 2008

Big Verdict for Little Person

A couple of weeks ago, Matt Roloff, one of stars of the television show, Little People Big World went to trial on charges that he drove his car while he was under the influence of alcohol and failed to maintain his lane. He was arrested in 2006 however it took until earlier this month for his case to actually go to trial. He stated that he was driving his wife’s car that was outfitted with pedals custom fit for her, therefore her car couldn’t accomdate his stature, the arresting officer indicated that he could detect a moderate odor of alcohol and Mr. Roloff declined to provide a chemical test.

While the Jury was deliberating, one of the jurors searched the internet for additional information, this is forbidden as a Jury may only properly consider evidence and argument provided during the trial. Instead of requesting a mistrial for juror misconduct, Mr. Roloff’s attorney waived the jury and requested the Judge to make a decision based on the evidence, that decision was “not guilty.”

DUI Defense &DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues &DUI Law hudson on 22 Jan 2008

NHTSA and Marijuana

As law enforcement steps up its efforts to investigate and subsequently arrest more drivers for driving under the influence we are beginning to see an increase in driving under the influence of drugs cases, or more commonly called, “drugged driving.” We continue to see cases with Ambien and other sleep aids more commonly that those involving marijuana but we are seeing an increase in marijuana as well.

Marijuana cases cause specific problems for law enforcement as there are no standards for quantifying the blood or urine concentration that will result in impaired driving. It is difficult to establish a relationship between a person’s THC blood or plasma concentration and performance impairing effects. Concentrations of parent drug and metabolite are very dependent on pattern of use as well as dose. The parent drug is the actual drug consumed while the metabolyte is the processed, but still measurable residue from the drug. Unfortunately, many involved in law enforcement are unaware that the metabolyte is not active and is not currently affecting/impairing the test subject.

In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) concedes, “It is inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone, and currently impossible to predict specific effects based on THC-COOH concentrations. It is possible for a person to be affected by marijuana use with concentrations of THC in their blood below the limit of detection of the method. Mathematical models have been developed to estimate the time of marijuana exposure within a 95% confidence interval. Knowing the elapsed time from marijuana exposure can then be used to predict impairment in concurrent cognitive and psychomotor effects based on data in the published literature.”

While more studies need to be conducted on the effects of marijuana on driving, NHTSA, itself states that “some drivers may actually be able to improve performance for brief periods by overcompensating for self-perceived impairment.” For information see the NHTSA article about Marijuana and human performance.

Alcohol Issues &DUI Defense &DUI Issues &Uncategorized hudson on 20 Jan 2008

Diabetics Beware of Breathtesting

Depending upon the type of equipment used and the specificity of said equipment a person experiencing Hypoglycemia or Hyperglycemia can have an inaccurate measurement due to the inclusion of keytones in the measurement. Ketoacidosis is a metabolic crisis that occurs when the boy uses fats for energy instead of the primary source of energy, carbohydrates. As a result of this process keytones (acetone, etc.) accumulate in the blood and subsequently cause the body’s pH to drop to dangerous levels. These keytones can be measured as alcohol by machines that are not specific for alcohol.

Alcohol Issues &DUI Enforcement &DUI Issues hudson on 16 Jan 2008

Coming Soon to a State Near You?

An Oklahoma legislator has introduced legislation to require DUI convictions to appear on a persons driver’s license. The imputus is to put bars, nightclubs and liquor stores on notice that the person patronizing their establishment on notice that the person has a history of drinking and driving. This “scarlet letter” seems appealing in the sense that a person with a special notation on their driving license might be embarrassed into not drinking or driving after drinking, it seems highly unlikely that a bar, nightclub or liquor store will refuse service to the potential patron. Further, it seems even less likely that a busy bartender or other server of alcoholic beverages will have the time or inclination to moderate the drinking of the patron.

Notable DUI Defendants hudson on 12 Jan 2008

Clinton Advisor Arrested for DUI

In New Hampshire, the night before the primary election, Sidney Blumenthal was arrested for suspicion of DUI with a high speed allegation. The Officer alleged that Blumenthal was driving 70 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone. Further, the Officer alleges that he saw Blumenthal stop at an intersection. Hmm, nothing illegal about that, additionally the Officer saw Blumenthal “drifting in his lane,” which in many jurisdictions isn’t illegal, leaving the lane is required.

The simple fact here is that Blumenthal has been tried and convicted in court of public opinion before having the benefit of his day in court. Too frequently the media writes what law enforcement states and leaves the citizen to twist in the wind while their attorney is left to fight the charges in the media and the courthouse. While the Officer’s were convinced of his intoxication there was no reference to a specific blood alcohol concentration nor whether his failure to be tested was a crime in and of itself.

Uncategorized hudson on 01 Jan 2008

Cellular Telephone Laws for July 2008

The Legislature passed a bill making it a crime to drive a car with a cellular telephone in your hand. The law will not go into effect until July 1, 2008, the new law will require that all drivers use “hands-free” equipment when driving. While the fines may be low ($20 for the first offense, $50 for each successive offense) the potential for abuse seems very real. If a law enforcement officer can make a stop for suspicion of driving with a cellular telephone as even using the speakerphone function on your telephone violates the law. For more information on this law go to the California Department of Motor Vehicles website, if you are interested in other changes for 2008 visit here.