Michigan Bans DUI Marijuana Prosecutions

The Supreme Court of Michigan recently reversed a driver's conviction while allegedly driving under the influence of marijuana because having the presence of carboxy in the system in not a crime in Michigan. Carboxy is a metabolite that is created when THC (an active ingredient in marijuana) breaks down. Experts have shown that carboxy can be found in the system for weeks and does not indicate a driver is impaired for DUI prosecutions. The court ordered prosecutors to stop prosecuting drivers for DUI based on the presence of carboxy in the drivers' system. The recent Michigan Supreme Court decision reversed a 2006 decision by the same court. Prosecuting drivers for DUI-drugs is very difficult as there are few, if any, scientific studies concluding illegal drugs causes impairment.

Arizona Cops Can't Get Forced Blood Draw Without A Warrant In DUI / Drunk Driving Cases

Jun 17, 2010 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: Law Enforcement Agency Drunk Driving Blood Draw Testing

Recently, the Arizona Supreme Court held that police can only get a blood sample from a DUI / Drunk Driving suspect as long as the suspect consents or the police obtain a warrant. In the case decided by the Arizona Supreme Court, the driver only spoke Spanish and he was not spoken to in Spanish. He neither consented to nor resisted the blood draw after his DUI / Drunk Driving arrest. The blood draw was done by the Arizona police officer while the driver was sitting on the steps of the police van after vomiting. Recently, I blogged that Arizona is a state that allows police officers to draw blood from DUI / Drunk Driving suspects.

National Crime Lab Agency Proposed

Jun 10, 2010 — by Myles L. Berman | Comments (0)
Tags: State Crime Labs Drunk Driving Arrests

As a result of corruption, incompetence and scientific fraud, the National Research Council of the National Academies have issued a report urging reform in the forensic science field for crime labs across the United States. Crime labs are routinely relied on in DUI / Drunk Driving prosecutions across the country. The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers also supports the creation of an independent science-based federal agency. Crime lab witnesses are notoriously known for testifying in DUI / Drunk Driving cases favorably for the state with opinions that are at odds with numerous scientific studies and voluminous research. Taking crime labs away from police agencies and creating independent agencies may help innocent people from being convicted of crimes, including DUI / Drunk Driving.

DUI / Drunk Driving Checkpoints May Not Be Effective

According to a recent editorial (5/27/10) in the Los Angeles Daily News by Sarah Longwell, managing director of the American Beverage Institute in Washington, D.C. it may be time to rethink the usage of DUI / Drunk Driving checkpoints. Ms. Longwell states that it is not unusual for an all-night checkpoint to stop 1,000 drivers and make only one or two - frequently zero - drunk driving arrests. She also states that speeding has now replaced drunk driving as the No. 1 cause of fatalities on the highway. Finally, Ms. Longwell questions why local governments pour money into costly and ineffective checkpoints while ignoring serious other threats to public safety such as texting and falling asleep while driving.