Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DUI Personal Breathalyzers on iPhone

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here about iPhone DUI prevention apps. Now comes word that there is actually a device that attaches to your iphone that will register your alcohol content.

Unique iPod / iPhone accessory designed to plug into the dock connector, and read out your blood alchohol content level. Displays blood alcohol content (BAC) level within the range of 0.0000 - 0.100%, accurately to within 0.01% BAC. A reading of 0.08 or above sets off an alarm, signaling a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit in all 50 states.

Hear music from your phone or MP3 player without tethering the device with a cable. The iBreath accepts data from the songs you've stored on your iPhone or iPod. The FM transmitter broadcasts your music to a nearby radio tuned to the same frequency.

The iBreath also has a simple timer function that will help remind you to test your BAC again. Reminds you to test yourself again from one minute or up to eight hours later.

While it's a great idea, my concern is that a person would use it and be under the legal limit and falsely think they were safe from being charged with a DUI. Heck, you could blow into the device and register .000 BAC. I've posted on that here and here. I would hate for anyone to think they could avoid a DUI arrest just because they blew under the legal limit.

Thanks Chuck

Monday, September 28, 2009

No texting while driving for everyone but commercial truckers, right?

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here, here, and here about texting while driving. Now comes news that the trucking industry is looking for a huge exemption.

Crisscrossing the country, hundreds of thousands of long-haul truckers use computers in their cabs to get directions and stay in close contact with dispatchers, saving precious minutes that might otherwise be spent at the side of the road.

The trucking industry says these devices can be used safely, posing less of a distraction than BlackBerrys, iPhones and similar gadgets, and therefore should be exempted from legislation that would ban texting while driving.

“We think that’s overkill,” Clayton Boyce, spokesman for the American Trucking Associations, said of a federal bill that would force states to ban texting while driving if they want to keep receiving federal highway money.

After videotaping truckers behind the wheel, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that those who used on-board computers faced a 10 times greater risk of crashing, nearly crashing or wandering from their lane than truckers who did not use those devices.

That figure is lower than the 23 times greater risk when truckers texted, compared with drivers simply focused on the road, according to the same study. However, the Virginia researchers said that truckers tend to use on-board computers more often than they text.

The study found that truckers using on-board computers take their eyes off the road for an average of four seconds, enough time at highway speeds to cover roughly the length of a football field.

Richard J. Hanowski, director of the Center for Truck and Bus Safety at the Virginia institute, said videotape monitoring of 200 truckers driving about three million miles showed many of them using the devices, even bypassing messages on the screen warning them not to use the devices while driving.

“Is this any different than texting?” Mr. Hanowski said. “With either one, the risks are very high.”

Well given this no win situation, would you rather have a kid texting behind you in a compact car or a trucker behind you answering dispatch with a keyboard?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Another .000 DUI arrest

I've answered the question whether you should submit to any of the police officer's chemical tests here. I posted here about a minister who was charged with a DUI after submitting to breath testing with the results being .000 BAC. Now comes word of a man who was not driving poorly and still gets charged with a DUI despite a .000 BAC.

A 72-year-old man says he passed a breathalyzer but was arrested for D.U.I. anyway.

Police say there were traces of some type of substance in his urine but Vincent Tallo says that's impossible.

"I've served my country, my record is clean and this is how I'm treated," said Vincent Tallo.

Tallo was arrested at a D.U.I. checkpoint on Friday.
He and friend Mary Debenedetta were on their way home after a night of dancing.

"I bought a bottle of beer and sipped that bottle for two hours," said Tallo.

The couple pulled up to the checkpoint and was approached by an officer.

"He asked me--had I been drinking, I told him I had one beer," said Tallo.

Tallo said he had to follow the officer's finger with his eyes and do a few more field tests.

"He told me to stand on my right foot and put my hands at my side. He said, Sir, you are arrested for D.U.I.--I said what? I requested the breathalyzer," said Tallo.

Tallo said a female officer gave him the breathalyzer test and he blew a .000.

They give a 72 year old man Field Sobriety Tests. What are they thinking? It seems to me this just reinforces my opinion that once the officer asks you out of the car you are going to be charged with a DUI. If that is true the only decision you have to make is how much do you want to help the police write the reports to prove the DUI case against you?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on DUI suspects going to the front of the triage queue in hospitals for DUI blood draws

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here and here on the tension between medical personnel, HIPAA (The Federal Health Insurance Portability And Accountability Act), and Illinois DUI law around DUI blood draws. I've also posted here about jurisdictions having the cops do the DUI blood draws here. Now comes word that Illinois is trying to get paramedics to do DUI draws instead.

State law says police officers can require suspected drunken drivers to submit to a blood test if they're involved in a serious or fatal accident.

But what, if any, obligation do hospitals have to carry out an officer's request to draw a DUI suspect's blood?

That's one of the questions raised by the arrest of an emergency room nurse at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center during a dispute with a police officer over drawing blood from a suspected DUI driver.

Chicago hospitals contacted by the Sun-Times said they typically don't draw blood unless a person has been admitted for medical treatment, even if asked to do so by a police officer.

Some hospitals, such as Stroger Hospital, won't draw blood for a non-medical reason without a court order.

But state law allows blood drawn from an injured DUI suspect during emergency troom treatment to be used as evidence in court.

Dr. William Sullivan, past president of the Illinois College of Emergency Physicians and director of emergency medicine at St. Mary's Hospital in Streator, said hospitals want to help police but are worried about being sued by suspects whose blood was taken against their will or having to neglect emergency patients to tend to police requests.

In an effort to expedite blood draws for DUI suspects, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police is trying to work with paramedics and firefighters to draft legislation requiring paramedics to draw blood at the direction of police officers investigating alcohol-related crashes resulting in death or great bodily harm, said Limey Nargelenas, a lobbyist for the group.

The group said it recognizes that there may be resistance from paramedics who worry they would have to go to court to regularly testify in DUI cases.

"We're trying to work these issues out," Nargelenas said.

I can certainly say that if a patient in the emergency room is waiting for treatment and a DUI suspect, who does not need medical treatment, is there awaiting a blood draw, the patient should be treated first. In that instance, there are a host of liability issues for the hospital in doing DUI blood draws. What if they do the DUI blood draw and miss treating someone else in a timely manner? Folks it's called the emergency room for a reason, and a DUI blood draw, when the suspect doesn't require medical attention, doesn't jump to the front of the line of people waiting for treatment and admission to the hospital without adequate emergency room triage procedures being followed.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on DUI in a golf cart

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted about DUI's on horseback, snowmobiles, and toy bikes, now comes news of a DUI in a golf cart on a golf course.

September 25, Papillion, NE

The attorney for a Sarpy County woman accused of killing her friend in a golf cart crash tried to have the charges in the case dismissed on Friday.

Police said Kim McIllece was driving a golf cart at Tiburon when she hit a culvert. The cart flipped over, killing her friend, Debi Deines.

McIllece was charged with motor vehicle homicide and driving under the influence of alcohol. Police said her blood-alcohol level was twice the legal limit.

McIllece's attorney said Nebraska DUI laws shouldn't apply in this case because a golf cart is not considered a vehicle.

Well for those of you living in golfing communities or out playing a round, definitely get a designated driver.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on alcohol saving the lives of head injury victims

This Chicago DUI lawyer is a lot like many of you. Over the years you hear about tragic auto accidents. Inevitably, one thing sticks out for me. The number of times the person who is drunk, whether they are a passenger or the driver, walks away from the wreckage with barely a scratch.

You have probably heard that alcohol makes the body loser on impact in these accidents or some such tale. No one seems to know why but there's no question we keep seeing it again and again. Now comes research to suggest that victims of head injury have significantly higher rates of survival if they also have alcohol in their system, compared to head injury victims who have no alcohol in their bodies.

Head-injury patients are less likely to die if they have drunk alcohol, though they experience more complications, a study suggests.

The researchers used a national trauma database to review the cases of 38,019 patients with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries who had been tested for alcohol when brought to the hospital in 2000-5. For every 100 patients with severe brain injuries who tested negative for alcohol and died, only 88 patients with alcohol in their bloodstream died, a statistically significant 12 percent difference, according to the study, which appears in the Sept. 21 issue of Archives of Surgery.

If the findings are supported by future studies, they may lead to efforts to determine whether “there is a role for giving people a small amount of alcohol after they get injured,” said the paper’s first author, Dr. Ali Salim, an associate professor of surgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

He added: “We are not trying to say the alcohol is good, so go out and drink when you drive. That’s the last message we want to put out there.”

I think this study holds the key to explaining how those that are drunk just seem to walk away from car accidents. My interest is piqued.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer wonders if toy bikes should count for DUI's

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here, here, and here about DUI's that didn't involve a car. Now comes the news of a man who 1) wasn't driving and 2) was charged with a DUI for sitting on a toy motorized bike.

A Marengo man charged with drunken driving rode his motorbike in court Tuesday, not to it.

Carl Ahrens, 36, said he rode his Razor MX500 from Judge Thomas Meyer’s bench to the back of the courtroom in an effort to prove that the bike was a toy, not a motor vehicle. It operates on a 12-volt battery.

“I can’t believe I’m in this much trouble over a toy,” Ahrens said. “It goes 4 miles an hour. I plug it in overnight.”

Ahrens also was charged with driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, endangering the health of a child, improper operation of an off-road motorcycle, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and driving without registration.

Seriously, isn't there something better to do with taxpayer money than prosecute this guy? Ok, let's make sure you don't give your kid any of these motorized toys. They could be charged with driving without a license, driving without insurance, and driving without registration, even if they are only drinking root beer.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer says ouch! Catheterization coming soon for DUI arrests

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here and here on forced blood draws of DUI suspects. Heck, just yesterday I even posted here about arresting the nurse for not taking the blood of a DUI suspect. Now comes news that the police are willing to go to any lengths (no pun intended) to get evidence from your body to use against you.

An Indiana man has filed a lawsuit claiming that police forcibly withdrew urine from his body during a drunken driving arrest.

According to the suit, police Jamie Lockard, 53, on suspicion of drunk driving in March.

A Breathalyzer test showed he was under the legal limit, but Officer Brian Miller doubted the findings.

Lockard and his attorney claimed in the suit that police took him to Dearborn County Hospital and forced him to submit to a urine test.

Police said they obtained a warrant, but Lockard's attorney said his client was shackled to a gurney and had a catheter inserted against his will.

So now, even when you pass the Breathalyzer test if the police don't like that result they will just strap you down to a gurney and use a catheter? And if the medical personnel don't cooperate with these actions they will arrest the medical personnel as well. Looks like another nail in the coffin of the U.S. Constitution.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer wonders if we want police officers arresting nurses for questioning a DUI blood draw?

This Chicago DUI lawyer has commented here and here on hospitals and DUI blood draws. Now comes one of the most outrageous things I've heard this year. The police arrest the nurse who dares question whether she can do a DUI blood draw.

A head emergency room nurse at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital has sued the city and a Chicago Police officer for handcuffing her and putting her in the back of a squad car during a dispute over drawing blood from a suspected drunken driver.

Lisa Hofstra said she was the “charge nurse” in the emergency room on Aug. 1 when the officer approached her at about 4 a.m. The officer requested she perform a blood work-up on a DUI suspect, the lawsuit said.

Hofstra told the officer the suspect needed to be admitted to the hospital before she could draw the person’s blood. Hofstra said she told a police lieutenant that it was the hospital’s protocol to wait until a suspect was admitted, and the lieutenant agreed, she said.

Then Hofstra called her supervisors, but before they could respond, the officer put her in handcuffs in front of her co-workers and escorted her to a squad car, according to the lawsuit.

“I in no way intended to block this police officer’s ability to do his job,” she said in a news conference today. “He went about it in the wrong way. ... I would like him to be reprimanded.”

She was in the car for about 45 minutes before the situation was resolved, Hofstra said. The cuffs were too tight, requiring treatment in the hospital after she was released from custody, she said.

A security video of the incident shows the officer smiling outside the squad car as Hofstra sat inside.

Recently, a commenter said that he hated DUI drivers so much that he was alright with their rights being violated by taking their blood. I wonder if he feels the same way now that the rights being violated belong to the medical personnel who must draw their blood? I also wonder if he would be comfortable with an officer that does what Nurse Hofstra's officer is accused of doing drawing the blood of any one accused?

Thanks Farah.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on breath testing machines being thrown out of courts

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here, here, and here about breath testing machines. Now comes word that one of the most used models of breath testing machines does not meet scientfic standards of accuracy.

September 20, Sarasota, FL

The breath-alcohol tests used for years to help convict tens of thousands of DUI defendants across the state might not have been as reliable as prosecutors portrayed.
Two top experts have said that the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath-test machines -- used for about two decades before the state changed to updated machines in 2006 -- could not meet today's scientific requirements for ensuring accurate results.

The Intoxilyzer 5000 was only checked once a month to see if the machine was working properly. The state's newest machine, the Intoxilyzer 8000, runs two control tests during every alcohol breath test -- one right before and one right after.

The testimony of those experts means prosecutors cannot present the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath tests in court in the small number of remaining cases where that older machine was used.

As a result, dozens of DUI defendants in Sarasota and Manatee counties have had charges dropped or reduced to reckless driving.

Prosecutors say the Intoxilyzer 5000 machines were reliable, even if the scientific community now calls for better safeguards to make sure the machine is accurate.

But defense attorneys say it is scary to think people might have been convinced to plead guilty, or lost their driver's licenses, based on a test whose reliability is now in question.

"Those machines were paraded into court as the gospel, and we now know it wasn't," said Venice attorney Robert Harrison, who has led the fight for years against the machines. "It's sad it came to this in the sunset of its life."

About 70 times each month in Florida, the new Intoxilyzer 8000 rejects a breath test because the control tests were not acceptable, Sarasota defense attorney Derek Byrd said.

"If that happens 70 times a month on a newer, better machine, just by sheer logic you know on the 5000 it was happening there too," Byrd said. "You know people were blowing into a machine that there were problems with the results."

"Just because the process doesn't meet the ideas of the general scientific community doesn't mean it's not reliable," said Assistant State Attorney Cliff Ramey, the supervisor of the misdemeanor division in Sarasota County.

But Ramey said the expert opinions now prevent them from introducing the Intoxilyzer 5000 breath test results in court.

Prosecutors can still pursue DUI charges without breath tests. Without a test, however, they must depend on testimony from officers or videos of the driver.

Ramey said his office is still prosecuting cases where they cannot use the results from Intoxilyzer 5000, but had to dismiss some of the cases since they date back to 2003 and officers have no memory of the case.

The question about whether the results of the Intoxilyzer 5000 were scientifically credible came up during the ongoing battle about the computer code that runs the machines.

Defense attorneys in about 450 DUI cases questioned the reliability of the machines, and judges have ruled that the defendants should have access to the computer code inside the Intoxilyzer 5000 and 8000.

After the manufacturer declined to disclose the code, county judges ruled prosecutors would only be able to introduce the results if they proved it was scientifically accurate.

Interesting, the same prosecutor that wants you to rely on "science" of the breath testing machine now says the machine is reliable even if the scientific community disagrees. I thought the prosecutor was a lawyer, not a scientist.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer questions the use of DUI roadblocks at sunset

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here, here, and here about DUI roadblocks. Now comes word that instead of doing DUI roadblocks when the police may catch a paltry few DUI drivers, they are now expanding the DUI Constitutional roadblock exception to fish for drivers they know probably will not be impaired.
Police in Merriam are taking a different approach to catching drunk drivers.

Instead of setting up DUI checkpoints late at night to stop partygoers as they are headed home, they have decided to hit the streets at 7 p.m. trying to find drivers who may have had too much to drink at happy hour.

Officers said the checkpoints are more about education than anything else.

On Friday, Merriam police also ticketed drivers who did not have proof of insurance or a valid driver's license.
I think they should next try using DUI roadblocks at noon on Sunday. I suspect you can catch a few folks who took Communion, since many churches use wine as a part of the sacrament.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on MADD's selling a line of virgin drinks

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted her dismay with MADD here, here, and here.  Now comes word of the strangest move by the Neo-Prohibitionist group, they are now selling non-alcoholic beverages.
The holiday season is just around the corner, are you ready for your guests? Or do you have a BYOB party and are not sure what to bring since it is a family affair? MADD announces an exclusive license agreement with Hill Street Marketing Inc. to produce a line of alcohol-free beverages, MADD Virgin Drinks, which will provide American consumers with a delicious and socially responsible alternative to alcoholic beverages. The line currently includes three virgin cocktails (Mojito, Margarita and Pina Colada), a virgin Lager & Lime, virgin Red and White Wine, and a virgin Sparkling White Wine.
"We know many people want an alternative for their guests to help encourage safe, sober and savvy driving, as well as the great taste needed to make guests feel like they are part of the party -- but without the alcohol," said Laura Dean-Mooney, MADD national president.
Alright, to be fair these are our neighbors to the north. This is being done by MADD in Canada.  In case you are interested in this line of non-alcoholic beverages here's their website.
I'll admit it, this news has left me at a lost for words.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on teen getting charged with a DUI

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here and here on underage drinking and driving. Now comes news of a young, and perhaps troubled, girl being charged with a DUI.

A 14-year-old Streator girl was charged Thursday with traffic offenses, including one for driving drunk.

The girl was involved in a traffic crash Aug. 30. Streator police sent information to the La Salle County State's Attorney's Office, which filed charges of driving under the influence, driving without a valid license, and failure to notify police of an accident involving damage and truancy.
In 2008, the girl was cited for truancy.
I truly hope this young girl doesn't end up with a DUI in her background before she's even eligible to get a driver's license.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on DUI offenders being the victims of identity theft

This Chicago DUI lawyer has heard of all sorts of punishments for DUI offenders and posted on some of them here, here, and here. Now comes word that DUI offenders were specifically targeted as victims of an identity theft ring.


Dennis C. Pfannenschmidt, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced today that Donald E. Stoner, age 37, of Lancaster County was charged with conspiracy to commit identification fraud in connection with a scheme targeting DUI offenders in Lancaster and York Counties. Also filed today was a plea agreement indicating that Stoner has agreed to plead guilty to the charge when he appears for his arraignment in federal court. Stoner faces up to five years’ imprisonment and $250,000 in fines upon conviction of the offense.

The charge filed today indicates that Stoner and another unnamed individual searched the internet and targeted individuals who had been convicted of DUI offenses in Lancaster and York Counties. Stoner and his co-conspirator then requested the court’s files from the clerk’s office and obtained the victim’s social security number, drivers license number and other identifying information that was disclosed on documents in the file. Armed with this information, Stoner and his co-conspirator opened fraudulent bank accounts, created phony email addresses and applied for loans in the victim’s name. The proceeds of the loans were deposited into the fraudulent bank accounts and used by the co-conspirators for personal expenses. More than 100 individuals had their identities stolen and approximately $27,000 was gained as a result of this scheme. The victims have been contacted by law enforcement authorities and advised of the identity theft. The clerk of court for York and Lancaster County have also been advised of the scheme and have been asked to redact identifying information from court documents prior to release to the public.

Hmmm, is it time to re-think how much information the public is entitled to in court cases?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on the stalling of courtesy rides to avoid DUI's

This Chicago DUI lawyer posted here about a concept where you call, it's not a taxi service, if you've had too much to drink and they give you a ride home. Looks like there's a lot more controversy over a similar offering in a different part of the state.

Alderman Dan Brink (R-6th Ward) says he has nothing against the service Jonathon Shoenekase is providing when he picks up people from bars who think they've had too much to drink.

But Brink has some questions: "Is this a business and does it need to be regulated?"

Shoenekase's "Courtesy Rides" service doesn't charge a fee, instead accepting donations for rides. The Quincy City Council heard a first reading of an ordinance Monday night to amend the city's municipal code to amend the definition of "for hire" pertaining to taxis and limousines in the city.

Schonekase asked the City Council that if it decided to change the law, he wished to be grandfathered in. He also reminded Quincy Mayor John Spring that he made a pledge during the last mayoral election to assist those citizens who wanted to avoid drinking and driving.

James Meredith, owner of Diamond Cab, also spoke to the Council and said Schoenekase is merely skirting state law by not having a license and claiming to take donations instead of collecting fares.

Meredith, whose company has been criticized for not having operating hours to facilitate patrons who close bars and nightclubs, says the hours of operation are 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and he is now operating until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

He said nightclubs have in the past paid him to operate later hours and he said he would have later operating hours "if business justifies it."

Anyone else think MADD will lend a helping hand to a ride home program for folks who think they aren't safe to drive home?

Monday, September 14, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on DUI convicts paying for jail

This Chicago DUI lawyer already posted here about debtor prisons. I've also posted here about the costs of a DUI arrest and conviction. Now comes word of charging people for their "stay" in jail.

If Pima County officials have their way, more convicted drunken drivers will soon have to pay for the privilege of eating and sleeping at the county's Adult Detention Center.
Jail officials recently met with judges and top prosecutors to remind them that they have the authority to make convicted drunken drivers reimburse counties for the cost of locking them up — which the jail officials want them to do.
Although the law has been on the books since 1997, and prosecutors include it in plea agreements, judges have not been consistently imposing the fee, said Jan Kearney, presiding Pima County Superior Court judge.
Pima County statistics show 876 people were convicted of drunken driving between January and June of 2008. They spent a combined 16,595 days at the jail, costing the county about $1.24 million.
Still, Kearney and Superior Court Judge Richard Fields said the chances of judges imposing the fees remains unlikely, for the same reason they haven't been regularly imposed in the first place.
Drunken driving is one of the most expensive crimes to commit in terms of the fines and fees required by state lawmakers and fighting at trial, Fields said.
For example, felony drunken drivers are required to pay $1,500 to the state general fund and another $1,500 to the prison construction operating fund. In addition, they more than likely have to pay restitution, lawyers, monthly probation fees and other fines.
"I don't fault the sheriff at all for asking, but the reality is we have to make an assessment of what defendants can afford to pay," Fields said. "In the end, you can only get so much from folks."
Kearney agreed, noting that there is no point assessing reimbursement fees knowing they won't get paid and knowing the defendant would end up in jail again for not paying them.
I suspect this ought to qualify under the 8th Amendment of the Constitution's notions of cruel and unusual punishment. Then again, there is also the peculiar idea that the DUI defendants have to pay for their stay in jail, but not the robbers, rapers, and drug dealers. What on earth is the sheriff thinking?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer warns of police taking your blood--by force

This Chicago DUI lawyer has posted here, here, and here about DUI blood draws. Regardless of your opinion on the subject, I find it odd that there is distinct and understandable concern about government sponsored health insurance reform (leaving out Veteran's Programs and Medicare) but we are perfectly okay with the police taking a person's blood by force?

Nampa police say a new program that allows trained officers to draw blood to determine whether drivers are under the influence of alcohol or drugs is both cost-effective and more accurate.

By doing the procedure in-house at one of two Nampa stations, instead of at local hospitals like Mercy Medical Center, the department will save about $300 per blood draw, Sgt. Matthew Pavelek said. And by avoiding hospital waits, officers hope to get a more accurate blood-alcohol content reading, he added.

No other police departments in Idaho have implemented the program, first pioneered in Arizona the past 13 years. But the practice has been expanding to other states including Texas.

"The National Highway Association chose us, I assume, because we're the two largest police agencies in the state, and they're doing some studies to see how it affects drunk-driving behavior before and after the blood draws," Pavelek said.

Under the new program, trained Nampa officers can conduct blood draws on suspected DUI motorists who do not consent to breath or other chemical testing during impaired-driver related investigations.

Somehow, I think the majority opinion in Schmerber v. California,384 U.S. 757 (1966) (the U.S. Supreme Court case that permits blood draws for DUI's) holds the key to how most of us actually feel about this:

Finally, the record shows that the test was performed in a reasonable manner. Petitioner's blood was taken by a physician in a hospital environment according to accepted medical practices. We are thus not presented with the serious questions which would arise if a search involving use of a medical technique, even of the most rudimentary sort, were made by other than medical personnel or in other than a medical environment—for example, if it were administered by police in the privacy of the stationhouse. To tolerate searches under these conditions might be to invite an unjustified element of personal risk of infection and pain.

See, in Schmerber the defendant was already in the hospital being treated for injuries from an auto accident when his blood was taken. Accordingly, the Justices thought that was very, very different than the police taking your blood back at the station.

PS Thanks Sonya.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer says Big Brother has arrived in Illinois and your license plates provide a wealth of information about you

This Chicago DUI lawyer posted here and here about technology to scan license plates. Now, they are arresting people for driving with suspended/revoked license using this technology here in the Land of Lincoln. The technology is amazingly accurrate.

CitySync Technologies have been working very closely with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to provide additional hotlist database information for Police Departments.

The Secretary of State (SOS) has provided two CitySync customers with a SOS Test database before releasing it to the rest of the world. The first Illinois department to try out the database was MEATTF, a stolen vehicle task force part of ISP District #11.

Director Gary Brewer of MEATTF has informed CitySync that the SOS data went live last Wednesday morning and by Wednesday afternoon his team had pulled over and arrested 8 vehicles for Revoked / Suspended driver’s licenses.

The CitySync System can recognize, check and then store thousands of license plates per hour along with GPS co-ordinates and is extremely user friendly. It can be operated using a touch screen with a few simple button pushes.
Did you notice they were using the technology purportedly to recover stolen vehicles? The erosion of privacy rights continue.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chicago DUI lawyer comments on the double DUI arrest

This Chicago DUI lawyer has commented here and here about couples being charged with DUI's. Now comes word of a police officer who manages to flag down a man for DUI while administering Field Sobriety DUI Tests to the man's girlfriend.

A man who pulled over and got out of a car while police were giving a sobriety test to his girlfriend was also arrested for drunk driving in Salem early Friday morning.

A Marion County deputy stopped driver 59-year-old Diane McCaslin at Lancaster and Santiam Pass Way NE just after 1 a.m.

he deputy said he was giving her a field sobriety test when a second car pulled up and 66-year-old Donald Ramsey got out.

Ramsey said he was McCaslin’s boyfriend. The officer said he suspected Ramsey had also been driving under the influence, and gave him a field test.

Both McCaslin and Ramsey were arrested for DUII and taken to the Marion County Jail.

I'm thinking the arresting officer was the only one experiencing double the pleasure and double the fun this morning while making these DUI arrests.