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U.S. SUPREME COURT RECOGNIZES NATION'S CRIME LAB ERRORS

Jun 29, 2009 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: State Crime Labs Constitution Amendment Blood Draw Testing

The United States Supreme Court recently held that a defendant in a criminal case has the constitutional right to cross exam governmentchemists who analyze chemical substances when the government seeks to introduce into evidence the lab reports prepared by government crime labsto prove the substance is what the government says it is. Prior to this ruling and as it relates to DUI / DrunkDriving prosecutions, some statesallowed government lab analysisreports into evidencewithout the need to call the analyst to testify as to the lab report contents. However, in California, this ruling doesn't change the admissibility of crime lab reports in DUI / Drunk Driving prosecutionsbecause courts in California have required experts from crime labs to testifyas to the preparation, contents and conclusions contained in the reports. The recent ruling clearly is an acknowledgement by the U.S. Supreme Court that through cross-examination by defense counsel in criminal cases, a criminal


Over 200,000 DUI / DRUNK DRIVING ARRESTS IN CALIFORNIA

Jun 22, 2009 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: Drunk Driving Arrests California Dui Laws

According to the California Department of Motor Vehicles, there were 203,866 DUI / Drunk Driving arrests in 2007. This breaks down to 197,602 misdemeanor and 6,264 felony DUI / Drunk Driving arrests for 2007.

Also in 2007, there were 192,213DUI / Drunk DrivingDMV Administrative Per Sesuspension/revocationactions. An administrative persesuspension/revocation action occurs aftera police officer takesa California driver's license and/or issues a temporary licenseafter thedriver hasbeen arrested for DUI / Drunk Drivng andtook a breath test with resultsof a .08 or greater, took ablood test or refuses a breath or blood test, or if someone under 21 either has a breath or bloodtest with a result of a .01 or greater.

Finally, in 2007, almost 76% of people facing CaliforniaDUI / Drunk DrivingDMV administrative per se suspension/revocation actionswere facing their first DUI / Drunk DrivingDMV administrative per se suspension/revo


Report of Serious Crime Lab Deficiencies

Jun 9, 2009 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: State Crime Labs Blood Draw Testing

According to a report released on February 18, 2009, by the National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine, the nation's crime labs on the federal, state and local levels are rife with serious deficiencies including lacking practitioner and laboratory independence, standards, oversight and certification. The National Research Council called for the establishment of a wholly independent federal agency, the National Institute of Forensic Science to address the problems in the current science and system. As this relates to DUI / Drunk Driving defense, we experience a wide variation of policy, procedures and testimony from the various county crime labs statewide in California. The testimony variation also includes chemists within the same county crime lab who testify differently from each other in DUI / Drunk Driving cases.


Unusual DUI / Drunk Driving Case

Jun 8, 2009 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: Drunk Driving Drunk Driving Arrests

Oftentimes I am asked about unusual DUI / Drunk Driving cases we have handled. One case we handled a while ago was a golfer who was arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving while driving a golf cart! The client was finished playing golf and was driving home in the golf cart. Keep in mind that in California, anyone is subject to being arrested for DUI / Drunk Driving in any type of motorized vehicle anywhere in the State. If you know of an unusual DUI / Drunk Driving arrest like this one, please let me know.


Oceanside Police Department Turns Over Almost 8 Years of Videotapes Stashed By Police Officer

Jun 5, 2009 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: Drunk Driving Arrests Law Enforcement Agency

Recently, the Oceanside Police Department turned over to the San Diego County prosecutors office neary 8 years worth of video tapes of suspect interviews stashed by an Oceanside police officer. It's not clear if the officer withheld the tapes intentionally or wasn't aware that he was to turn them over to the defense. Credit goes to the San Diego County District Attorney's Office for notifying defense attorneys of the existence of the video tapes. My guess is that the officer kept the tapes for his own protection in case a suspect may have alleged the officer may have committed some kind of violation of the suspects' rights. There is no indication if any of the video tapes involved DUI / Drunk Driving arrests.