Over the summer a legislator in New Jersey was stopped and charged with a DUI. He promptly filed numerous complaints against the arresting officer with the court, 27 to be exact! The court dismissed 14 of the charges, but 13 criminal charges are pending against the officer. He has been suspended with pay until the matter is resolved. Aside from delaying the DWI charges against the Assemblyman, the charges will provide doubt for a jury of peers when his case is heard - if it goes to trial.

This happens more often than we know. Most officials that are stopped and charged with drunk driving refuse testing and begin discrediting the arresting officer. In this case he said that the officer lied in his written report, I would like to know what officer doesn't embellish the truth. They are trained to write reports that will make the charges stick and it often requires creative writing. Unfortunately, for the average citizen these tactics do not work because the judge would just throw out the charges and the court assumes guilt if testing is refused - though they are not supposed to and would never admit to it.


Lately I have been hearing a lot about problems with interlock ignition devices (IID). These devices are used across the country to prevent drunk driving. They are connected to the vehicle ignition and require the driver to provide a breath sample before they can start the vehicle. In addition, they require samples randomly while the vehicle is being driven. It sounds like a great idea, but is it?

These devices are sensitive to anything that contains acohol like perfume, hairspray, certain types of food, mouthwash and other products. A person that uses or ingests these products can have a false reading and fail a test which sets off a chain reaction. If they are trying to start the vehicle, the vehicle is locked out for a period of time before they allowed to retest. When the car is in motion and a test is failed the device makes a very loud noise, honks the horn and flashes the lights until the driver pulls over, turns the vehicle off and is able to restart. This goes on their record and is sent to the DMV, often resulting in a longer amount of time they are required to have it on their vehicle or revocation of their license.

Some people that I have talked with recently have said that the device was faulty. Not only did they have false readings, sometimes they couldn't even take the test. Many of these people had to have their vehicles towed to the company that installed the device for maintenance and/or repair. Many of them had bad experiences with the company and were treated poorly as if they had done something wrong.

I am curious if this technology is really ready for prime time. It seems as though they jumped the gun on this, just like they have on so many software programs that required numerous patches to fix all of the problems experienced once it was launched. Maybe these incidents should be reported to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), it's easy to do online at http://www.bbb.org/. At a minimum it will start a record that has to be addressed, other people can use and hold the companies accountable as well as the manufacturers.
Thank you Senator Burke Harr for recognizing there's a problem with DUI laws! He has initiated a study on the effectiveness of DUI laws and how the problem can be addressed without increasing penalties. It is good to know that there are people in Congress that do believe in the constitution and have not been hoodwinked by MADD's misinformation. Hopefully his study will lead to reasonable legislation.

Nebraska Lawmakers to Study Effectiveness of DUI Laws
Now that marijuana is legal in Colorado, legislators are forced to take another look at the driving laws in effect. Washington plans to use a blood level, which will require that impaired drivers consent to a blood draw. This line of thinking needs to stop - law enforcement should be focusing on actual driving impairment, not a number that is based on flawed data. In Colorado, you don't need to drive to receive a DUI. We should advocate dash cams for the police force and require that they have proof of impaired driving in order to charge people with a DUI.

Colorado lawmakers are preparing to take up driving standards yet again when they convene next year.
Attorney Lawrence Taylor has a great web site and DUI Blog that has a wealth of information. He is an expert in the DUI defense arena and has numerous locations in CA. The most recent blog says that police officers are correct about driving impairment 25% of the time, more than I expected! Check it out:

How Good Are Cops at Detecting Intoxication?
"In Washington, police still have to observe signs of impaired driving before pulling someone over, Coon said. The blood would be drawn by a medical professional, and tests above 5 nano grams would automatically subject
the driver to a DUI conviction."

In Colorado they don't have to observe signs of impairment to prosecute a DUI case. It can be a secondary finding
during a routine traffic stop. So what do we do with this problematic DUI law? In the article that the quite above was pulled from, Colorado Republican Sen. Steve King states, ""I believe a 5-nanogram limit will save lives," he is a
sponsor of previous driving-high bills. Well what does that mean exactly? They are now going to require blood draws when police officers suspect an individual is impaired (because they don't have to be driving here)? This is ridiculous,
the link provided below will take you to the full article - this nonsense has got to stop!

With pot legal in 2 states, police worry about road safety
The article at the link provided below makes a lot of sense. It discusses why drunk driving laws should be eliminated and the focus should be on driving ability instead. This would allow police officers to enforce traffic laws rather than arresting people for drunk driving when they've been stopped for a minor traffic offense, such as having a tail light out or expired tags, or when they are merely occupying a parked vehicle.
A new era of prohibition is taking place in our country through extreme legislation and harsh punishment for drunk drivers. The laws and regulations must be changed to promote just and fair consequences. Penalties should fit the severity of the offense, there is not a one size fits all solution.