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DUI Science Upheld in Alaska

Image by drurydrama (Len Radin) via FlickrAlaska Supreme Court overturns law designed to stop presentation of medical evidence regarding alcohol absorption in DUI cases.The Supreme Court of Alaska on Friday upheld the right of defendants to present scientific evidence at trial in cases involving driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). In 2004, the state legislature sought to muzzle defense attorneys who cited medical evidence on alcohol absorption rates in a way that would have undermined conviction rates.Douglas Valentine had challenged his own June 18, 2005 DUI arrest. Fairbanks Police Sergeant Dan...

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DUID: Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Image via WikipediaSenate Bill 8 criminally penalizes motorists who drive with levels of THC above 2 ng/ml in their blood and/or levels of the inactive marijuana metabolite THC-COOH in their urine above 35 ng/ml. Ohio is only the third state to pass per se DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) legislation for motorists with trace levels of THC in their blood, and it is the sixth to criminalize motorists who drive with levels of non-psychoactive marijuana metabolites in their bodily fluid.NORML Senior Policy Analyst Paul Armentano called SB 8 an "all out assault on Ohio's marijuana smoking community." He said: "THC...

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DUI Science: New Study on Impulsivity and Alcoholism

Image by Rick Eh? via FlickrA new study involving mice has found that genetic predisposition to impulsivity is a trait predictive of alcoholism. The study by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis researchers appears on the July print issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, available online on April 22.  The researchers, led by Nicholas Grahame, Ph.D., associate professor of psychology at the IUPUI School of Science, used selective breeding for 30 generations to produce mice who were high volume alcohol drinkers and others who avoided consuming alcohol.The genetically different mice were presented with a choice between a small, immediate reward...

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Supreme Court Ruling Bad for Red-Light Cameras

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption]Red light camera and speed camera manufacturers fear that last month's US Supreme Court ruling in the case Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts could create legal turmoil for the industry. The National Campaign to Stop Red Light Running issued a statement yesterday warning that the ruling has armed motorists with a greater ability to challenge the basis of automated traffic citations. Speed cameras, for example, depend heavily on legal faith in a certificate that claims to confirm the total reliability of a machine's speed reading. In the Melendez-Diaz case, the high court ruled that merely producing...

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Confrontation Clause Upheld at US S.Ct.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180"] Image via Wikipedia[/caption]The United State Supreme Court decided a very important case that impacts directly upon DUI trials.  In Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetts, the Court held that lab reports which are used as evidence in trial are “testimonial” as defined by Crawford v. Washington and Davis v. Alaska.  What this means for prosecutors is that the witness must be called as a witness and be subject to cross-examination.  The majority consisted of Justices Scalia, Stevens, Souter, Thomas and Ginsburg.  Justice Kennedy wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices Alito, Roberts and Breyer.The dissent attempts to...

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R.C. 4511.22 Slow Speed

Image via Wikipedia(A) No person shall stop or operate a vehicle, trackless trolley, or street car at such a slow speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, except when stopping or reduced speed is necessary for safe operation or to comply with law.(B) Whenever the director of transportation or local authorities determine on the basis of an engineering and traffic investigation that slow speeds on any part of a controlled-access highway, expressway, or freeway consistently impede the normal and reasonable movement of traffic, the director or...

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Ohio’s Habitual Use Suspension

R.C. 4507.08(D), O.A.C. 4501:1-1-16(B), 4501:1-1-18; If you are convicted three or more times within the preceding three year period of a drunk driving offense your license will be suspended. In order to reinstate your license you will be required to attend a rehabilitation program approved by the Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services Board. The program must attest to a continuous 6 months of sobriety and must contain a statement from a licensed physician, a licensed psychiatrist or a certified (CCDC2 or CCDC3) alcoholism counselor attesting that the above requirements have been met. If a person receives a subsequent conviction within one...

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Ohio Magistrates Are Governed by Crim.R. 19

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="210" caption="Image via Wikipedia"][/caption]When you are arrested on a criminal case, you may find yourself in front of a magistrate instead of a judge.  This is common, but may cause confusion if you are asked to give your consent to allow the magistrate to hear your case.  Set forth below is a cursory examination of the authority given to criminal magistrates in Ohio.Criminal Rule 19 governs the authority of magistrates in the municipal courts.  A court can refer to the magistrate any of the following: (1) Initial appearances and preliminary hearings conducted under Criminal Rule 5. (2)...

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