According to the LA Times, a National Academy of Sciences report concludes that evidence about fingerprints, ballistics, bite marks and other forensic evidence often have little or no bais in science. Of course in DUI / Drunk Driving cases, breath, blood and urine testing methods and results come with the field of forensic science. A highly skilled DUI / Drunk Driving defense attorney is aware of these scientific shortcomings and uses this information to make sure people arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving are treating fairly. One of the recommendations made in the report requires crime labs become independent of law enforcement. This recommendation would significantly reduce the bias testimony elicited by the government, especially in DUI / Drunk Driving prosecutions.
Tags: Blood Draw Testing Breathalyzer Field Sobriety Testing
For years, DUI / Drunk Driving defense attorneys, myself included, have been saying the DUI / Drunk Driving laws have been eroding our civil rights. If someone has a blood test done in a hospital after a DUI / Drunk Driving accident, in many states, the blood vial itself and the blood tests results are now discoverable by the prosecution in a DUI / Drunk Driving case. In New York, a Court of Appeals held that a driver's blood and the blood test results are not privileged because under traffic laws, drivers automatically consent to a toxicology test (breath, blood, urine or saliva) for alcohol or drugs when there is a fatal crash or serious injuries and get arrested. Therefore, there is no applicable Doctor-Patient privilege.
A while back, I received an email from a person in Ohio who was arrested for OVI while walking his bike across his front yard. ( OVI is Ohio's version of DUI / Drunk Driving.) He was convicted in the trial court and the Court of Appeals upheld his conviction. From time to time, I hear of very unusual stories of people arrested under strange circumstances. We once represented a client who was arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving while driving in his golf cart. What the government wants people to do is not drink and drive any vehicle whether or not it is motorized. It wouldn't suprise me if someone gets arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving while riding a horse!