New Post at Chron.Commons

“Ought” vs. “May” on why MADD has DUI policy wrong.

0 responses to “New Post at Chron.Commons”

  1. Well, you are brave. But then, I am sure that hate mail from MADD wouldn’t bother you. Wouldn’t it be nice if Senator Webb’s proposed Commission to examine the criminal justice system decided that we have overcriminalized lots of behavior that we do not need to criminalize, like say Marijuana? But without any representative of the defense side, I have my doubts. Anna

  2. Dammit. I knew this would happen as soon as I read your last post.

    Both of the posts should be here on DP.

    #1, according to your own breakdown of which-sort-of-post goes on which blog you said that “posts of interest to the criminal defense bar” go on DP. Both VFTFT posts so far have been of interest to the criminal defense bar.

    #2, you have rightly prided yourself for posting non-CDL type stuff on DP. Is that gonna stop too?

    Am I gonna hafta hit the *&$^#% RSS button over at VFTFT? Are all VFTFT posts going to be linked to on DP?

    What’s happening?

    • The problem is that (as I tell the IRS when they question the deductibility of my book purchases) there is nothing that is not of professional interest to the criminal defense bar.

      I’ll figure this stuff out. Since the Chronicle’s commenters basically suck, I’ll probably wind up dropping that blog.

      Meanwhile, you remind me of those listserv wusses who complain about all the work it takes to hit delete when something they’re not interested in hits the list.

  3. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were over 12,000 fatalities in 2007 that can be attributed to BAC of greater than .08. There is no mention of fatalities due to abuse of pain medication or other prescribed drugs, but I’ll bet there were quite a few. There is also no mention of accidents where there were no fatalities, but someone was injured. If you choose to drive, then I, as someone else who chooses to drive, has a vested interest in what you did just before you turned on your ignition.

  4. Unfortunately, you cannot legislate against stupidity or bad decisions, as much as we may try to. Why do you think that with such stringent punishments available for DUI/DWI offenses, people keep on doing it?

  5. I am all for DUI/DWI laws and the pain they bring to people because if you look they have done such a great job at stopping drunk drivers from killing people…

    Personally, I am also for creating a registry for Drunks as well, so that we can know who is a habitual drunk driver and avoid them in our neighborhoods…

  6. The problem isn’t the DWI laws, it’s the no-neck uneducated cops in charge of enforcing them, who think they can look at your eyes and tell you’re drunk, and the ridiculous criminal courts where that passes as science.

  7. dough, I know prosecutors who feel dirty getting convictions based on nystagmus.

    I wonder how many other things “done by the government” you support? Health care? Social services?

    No? Just the things that will help the state lock you up because the state says so?

  8. I guess there is an underlying truth behind MADD: Drinking impairs driving. I always have trouble untangling the fact that drinking and driving can cause real harm from my revulsion for MADD and everything they do. If they said the sky was blue, I’d want them to be wrong about it.

  9. I don’t support everything done by my government. However, I do think the research on HGN is pretty solid. As an uneducated no-neck former police officer, I realize that much of what law enforcment officers do on a daily basis is subject to review by people in an office, and at some point, probably a judge and jury. So, I generally don’t make decisions unless I can support them in court and feel comfortable doing it.

    As much as folks gripe and complain about police officers being lazy, stupid and crooked, it’s amazing that they still are willing to put their lives on the line for a job that pays next to nothing!

    • If you’re really interested in the science behind HGN, you might want to check out this publication ( ).

      In this article, the NHTSA found that 4 clues of nystagmus (the minimum number necessary to show probable cause of intoxication) routinely occur at BAC levels of as little as .03 g/dl (well under half the legal limit). They even found 4 clues in drivers with BACs as low as .016 and .019.

      HGN is closely correlated with alcohol consumption, but not impairment,

        • JGL — Thanks for the reply, but my original comment wasn’t really meant for the dough boy.

          Defense attorneys that handle DWI cases should read this study and use it on cross examination. The findings are truly amazing, even if the NHTSA attempts to subvert or controvert them. When I read this study I was aghast. The findings make it clear that the NHTSA knows that the HGN test, particularly when only 4 clues are observed, is not a reliable indicator of intoxication.

          If the officer claims to be an expert on HGN and hasn’t read or can’t explain this study to the judge or jury, be prepared to destroy him on the stand. Chances are good that the prosecutor will stipulate to any NHTSA funded studies — after all, if he fights them, he has no foundation for any of the SFSTs.

          Read the study. If you ignore it, you do so at your peril.

          Be well.

          • Why would I ignore it? In addition to being familiar with it, it’s right in line with my original post.

  10. I believe no one should drink and drive, interesting is that some believe it should not be illegal. I say this because in a way I feel maybe or may be not? I lost my partner who I have been with 12 years and was to marry, to a drunk driver who rand her through a brick wall, and crushed her as she was walking in to a store.

    I asked myself this did the “D.U.I.. laws stop this man from doing this, no would tougher laws stop this man from doing this, no. He was just sentenced and received 3.5 years for taking her life. If drunk driving was legal maybe he would have received more time for his crime. He did plead guilty yet I have seen people receive many more years for drug distribution. I guess I am trying to say is I do not think singling out people who may have a drink or two as demons is right, or giving up our freedom to such fascist ideals is right. Yes I feel he should spend more time in jail for involuntary manslaughter and maybe it is a failure of our judicial system which will allow him to be charge under a code related to D.U.I rather than for manslaughter. To many times we give up our freedom to “Lobbyist” we might want to just destroy each other by making contributions, which is mere bribery then we can bypass our constitution.

  11. I read “Smoke. AND Mirrors.” I’m not sure what you mean by “arrest records,” but surely you know that prosecutors and judges DO have access to defendants’ criminal histories. Obviously, expunged records are a different matter.

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