MD Deputy Released of Criminal Charges after DUI

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The Washington Post reported today that the Prince George County sheriff’s deputy is facing no criminal charges after a DUI arrest. A month ago, police found Cpl. Donovan Gholston with his car stuck in a ditch. Gholston failed a sobriety test and was taken to the police station.

County Sergeant, David Essing, ended up releasing Gholston without criminal charges. Sgt. Essing’s actions resulted in an immediate investigation, resulting in the sergeant’s suspension. (Essing has since returned to duty.) Gholston still has his job.

Many questions arose as to why Essing dismissed Gholston, including political motives.

DUI cases are far more complicated than one thinks. If you’re dealing with a DUI right now, contact a DUI attorney today.

NY's Adam Clayton Powell IV Acquitted

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In the City Room blog on NYTimes.com, John Eligon talks about the complexity of a DWI case in the wake of Adam Clayton Powell IV’s acquittal.

In March 2008, Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV was arrested for a DWI. His BAC was .07 which was just below the legal limit in the state of NY. Because of this, amongst other factors, the breathalyzer test was taken out of the body of evidence in court. The only thing the jury had as evidence was a video of Powell taking a field sobriety test, and, according to the jury, Powell seemed sober.

Powell was acquitted but he received an impaired driving violation, which is said to be similar to getting a speeding ticket.

Eligon goes on to discuss about how relevant the ideal “Don’t Drive and Drive” is to the law. He states that the legislature and even the president of M.A.D.D. recognize that an average person can consume some alcohol and be able to fully operate a vehicle.

It all comes down to individual responsibility and being able to recognize when a person has reached his or her limit. As the news shows us on a daily basis, numerous drivers have difficulty knowing their various limits. However, each driver has an individual history and lifestyle. The law needs to recognize that every DUI case is different and a qualified DUI lawyer is absolutely necessary.

Interview with TX DWI Lawyer, Jack Robinson

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SC Awards DUI Officers

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The South Carolina Department of Public Safety celebrated its fifth Annual DUI Enforcement Recognition Ceremony. SCNow.com states that 300 law enforcement officials and highway safety advocates attended the event held in Columbia, SC. Senator Joel Lourie was the guest speaker and many awards were handed out.

Most of the awards were based on how many DUI arrests an officer made that year. Josh Scott, a Conway Police Senior Master Patrol Officer, won an award in the “gold” category for 74 DUI arrests. In order to be in the gold level, an officer must have 50 or more DUI arrests in a year.

South Carolina has some of the strictest DUI laws in the United States. It is one of the only states that videotapes DUI arrests and the state can suspend your license even before your conviction. If you are facing a DUI charge in South Carolina, contact the Joye Law Firm right away.

CA Mayor Takes Part in Sobriety Challenge

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While some people were celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, California (in addition to the Dublin in Ireland), other people were learning about the dangers of drinking and driving. Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti was one of the participants in the St. Patrick’s Day Sobriety Challenge sponsored by Infineon Raceway.

The challenge included taking field sobriety tests and driving through an obstacle course on the Sonoma Track. Participants were tested once while sober and once after having been served wine or beer.

Even with his B.A.C. just under the California legal limit, Mayor Sbranti managed to fail many of the obstacles in the course and probably would’ve been pulled over had this been a real event. In California, even with a first offense, a person with a DUI can face jail time, have their license suspended, and pay a very expensive fine. It is important to have an experienced DUI attorney while you deal with this difficult situation. Click here for more information on California DUI Laws.

Maryland Senate Approves Ignition Interlock Device

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The Maryland Senate has approved a bill to issue an ignition interlock device to a first time DUI offender. This is only a preliminary approval and WBAITV.com reports that the House Judiciary committee has yet to bring up the bill, but the Senate will most likely pass it on Thursday, March 25th.

Like other states, Maryland is issuing ignition interlock devices after hearing of some shocking statistics. A third of Maryland drunk drivers continue to drive after their license is suspended. Furthermore, many first time DUI offenders have admitted to driving drunk numerous times before their arrest.

The American Beverage Institute has objected to this ruling. They claim that issuing the interlocks after one offense is too harsh of a punishment. However, Maryland lawmakers insist that this measure will prevent a lot of drunk-driving deaths on Maryland’s highways. If you’re based in Maryland and need help with a current DUI, contact attorney Andrew D. Alpert today.

California's AB 1601 Passes Despite Concern

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Assemblyman Jerry Hill was victorious yesterday when the California Public Safety Committee approved his bill, AB 1601. This bill would require courts to permanently revoke the license of a person convicted of a DUI for a third time. According to the Contra Costa Times, 310,000 California drivers have had three DUI convictions.

Despite the committee approving the bill, members of the California DUI Lawyers Association and the ACLU had concerns. Ignacio Hernandez, a representative from the California DUI Lawyers Association, objected to a provision in the bill that allows the DMV to review a driver’s lifetime driving record as opposed to the driving record from the past ten years. Because of this, Hernandez argues, a person who had DUI convictions 35 years apart would be treated the same way as someone who has multiple DUI convictions in one year.

ACLU representative Valerie Nevarro believes AB 1601 is an unfair bill for allowing courts to permanently revoke licenses. People would be unable to get to work or other places, which would result in a variety of problems.

Hill assured everyone that judges will look at each DUI case individually and use discretion when deciding on the proper punishment.

If you are looking for help for your DUI or for someone you know in the state of California, contact Lieber, Williams, and Labin for a consultation.

Public Wants Vermont To Toughen DUI Laws

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The Vermont House and Senate Judiciary Committees face disapproval with concerned citizens who want the state to improve their DUI laws, according to the Rutland Herald. This week, supporters came to the Statehouse urging lawmakers to create tougher DUI penalties in the wake of the tragic death of Nick Swanton in November of 2007.

Some of the potential laws the advocates hope for are jail time for a third DUI conviction and a minimum of five years in jail when a person is convicted for a fifth time.

However, these Vermonters have grown impatient because they feel the House and Senate are not making this bill a top priority. Representatives have been informing the public that DUI laws are more complicated than people think and lawmakers need time to fully assess the bill.

Despite these setbacks for the friends and family of Nick Swanton, Representative Michel Consejo urges the public to keep pressuring the state to create these laws. He says many laws in the past have been changed due to public opinion and this bill is no exception. For more information on Vermont DUI laws or if you need help with your current DUI in the state of Vermont, contact an experienced DUI/DWI attorney right away.

Judges in Palm Beach County Rule in Favor of Using Breath-Screening Devices

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The Palm Beach Post reported today that the Palm Beach County court denied a plethora of defense attorneys’ requests for police officers not to the use the Intoxilyzer 8000 when determining intoxication. Over 400 DUI cases were in question as lawyers argued that the Intoxilyzer is an inaccurate machine where police officers can easily tamper evidence.

In a press release by the Palm Beach county State Attorney’s office, the court “showed that the Defendants’ assertions in the motion had no basis at all.”

Intoxilyzer 8000

The accuracy of the Intoxilyzer has been argued in court in Palm Beach County since 2005. The Intoxilyzer is in use by over 35 states with a majority of these states having the Intoxilyzer as their sole breath-monitoring device. If you would like more information or help with a current DUI arrest, contact a qualified DUI lawyer immediately.

Nevada resurrects Advisory Coalition on Impaired Driving

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After a series of communication issues with handling drunk driving cases, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has decided to bring back the Advisory Coalition on Impaired Driving. The coalition had not been meeting much in recent years, but is now back in full force after the Reno Gazette-Journal reported problems of Nevada handling drunk driving cases.

Some of the issues in the Reno Gazette-Journal included judges not following the law requiring them to issue interlock devices to people convicted of a DUI. The journal also reported the DMV giving licenses to offenders before their suspension deadline.

Now that it is reinstated, Special Deputy Attorney General Brett Kandt says he hopes the coalition can include more key members such as representatives from the courts, DMV, DOC, and Parole and Probation. With this, he hopes to dramatically reduce the number of drunk drivers in Nevada. If you are dealing with a DUI arrest in the state of Nevada, a DUI attorney is here to help.