Articles Posted in DUI

INTRODUCTION


The highest court in the land is currently deciding a case that can have an enormous impact on Driving Under The Influence (DUI) cases in Florida and twelve other states. Each of those thirteen states makes it a misdemeanor criminal offense to refuse to blow into a breath machine while under arrest for DUI. The Court is reviewing whether it is unconstitutional to charge someone with a crime for refusing to blow. In their discussions concerning this case, it appears that the Court is looking at DUI breath cases as a whole and wondering whether police should have to first secure a warrant to begin with before requiring someone to blow into the machine.

ANALYSIS

If you’ve got a pulse, you’ll be angered by this one.  Milwaukee County Sheriffs Deputy Joseph Quiles alleges in his official report that he was driving his squad car when he came upon a stop sign.  He claims that he stopped his vehicle and then looked both ways before pulling out.  He then claims that he never saw any headlights when he suddenly struck a car driven by Tanya Weyker.  What happened next is nothing short of unbelievable.

Cops arrested her for five separate charges, including drunk driving resulting in injury.  The injury was actually  to Ms. Weyker, who suffered a fractured neck as a result of the February 2013 crash.  The injuries she sustained were too severe to allow her to perform field sobriety tests and/or even provide a breath sample.

Without any independent witness and/or video evidence, Ms. Weyker would be in a horrible predicament.  Her serious criminal case would be based almost exclusively on the words of law enforcement officers.  Fortunately, more evidence surfaced recently.

Broward Medical Examiner Craig Mallak told State Attorney Mike Satz on Tuesday that his office improperly validated its drug testing procedures in all DUI cases in which Medical Examiner’s office performed the testing, before Aug. 24, 2012.

Officials have no way of knowing at this stage how many cases may be affected by the improper drug testing procedures. Prosecutors have already been instructed to review their pending cases to make sure issues are resolved before trial. Satz said his office will have to review successful prosecutions on a case-by-case basis. Defense lawyers as well are preparing to review hundreds of criminal and civil cases due to the flaw in testing procedures.

The improper procedure was performed when testing for drugs including, but not limited to, hydrocodone, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, oxycodone, amphetamines, Valium, Xanax, sleeping pills and other over-the-counter medications that impede a persons ability to drive.

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A 47-year-old man in Tacoma, Washington mistakenly pocket-dialed 911 twice while driving drunk in what authorities suspected to be a stolen car. Police have not released his name and will not do so until he is charged, but say he is homeless.

The first 911 call came at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Police said their dispatcher heard a screaming woman in the background and a man telling her to stop. According to authorities, the call was traced to a street where officers saw a car run a red light.

Police tried to pull the car over. The driver did stop momentarily, and the woman passenger got out of the car and ran. The man then drove away, with police in pursuit. Police say the suspect eventually stopped the car and ran on foot. A police dog on the scene was unsuccessful in finding the man.

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