September 13, 2014

State v. Buckland: The Admissibility of Breath Test Results in a DUI Trial

State v. Buckland, a case from the Connecticut Supreme Court, involved a defendant (“Defendant”) who was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while under the Influence (DUI) of intoxicating liquor and operating a motor vehicle while having an elevated blood-alcohol content (BAC).

breathalyzer-46-m.jpgIn Alabama, your Birmingham DUI defense attorney can explain that the legal limit is 0.08 grams of ethanol (drinking alcohol) per 100 milliliters of blood.

In Buckland, Defendant was driving his car when a state special constable, using radar gun, observed him traveling at 50mph in a 34mph zone. The constable pulled Defendant over after he had driven an additional seven-tenths of mile before stopping.

When the officer approached the driver’s side of the vehicle, he detected an odor of alcohol through Defendant’s open widow. The officer noted in his police report that Defendant’s speech was a slurred, and his eyes were glossy. Defendant also had difficulty getting his documents from the glove compartment and wallet. Defendant admitted that he had two glasses of wine prior to driving.

Continue reading "State v. Buckland: The Admissibility of Breath Test Results in a DUI Trial " »

September 9, 2014

School Bus Driver Charged with Driving Commercial Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol

According to a recent article from Fox CT News, a school bus driver was arrested on charges of driving a commercial motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Authorities have that alleged that a police officer was on his way to a middle school when he observed a school bus in front of him swerve off the road surface. He continued to follow the bus to the school.

school-bus-1027-m.jpgWhen the officer spoke with children exiting the bus, he was told that the driver had hit several curbs on the way to school and was driving poorly. The officer administered field sobriety tests on the bus driver, and after determining that she had failed, placed her under arrest on suspicion of drunk driving.

At the police station, she was given a breathalyzer, and her blood alcohol content (BAC) was alleged to be 0.13. This is over the legal limit of 0.08 for drivers in a personal motor vehicle and substantially over limit of for drivers operating a commercial motor vehicle.

As your Birmingham DUI attorney can explain, the legal limit for operating a commercial motor vehicle in the State of Alabama is .04, and for drivers of school busses, the legal limit is .02.

After her arrest, all children on the bus were examined for any injuries, and it was determined that there were none. The school also sent a letter to all parents explaining the situation.

Continue reading "School Bus Driver Charged with Driving Commercial Motor Vehicle Under the Influence of Alcohol" »

September 5, 2014

23-Year-Old DUI Suspect Dies in Holding Cell

Police officers and authorities will be investigated when a suspect in custody suffers from an injury or death. In a tragic case, a 23-year-old was pulled over and arrested for a suspected DUI in Lee County before he died in a holding cell a few hours later. According to officers, the victim was arrested on a Friday and placed in a holding cell for the evening. The corrections staff did not report that the alleged DUI defendant showed any signs of medical issues at the time he was placed in the holding cell. A few hours later they found him unconscious and lying on the floor.

holdingcell.jpg

While placing intoxicated detainees in holding cells is standard practice throughout Alabama, the case raises questions about police misconduct and the correctional facility’s failure to meet certain standards of care. Our Birmingham DUI attorneys are dedicated to providing informed and strategic advocacy to protect the rights of DUI defendants from an arrest, through interrogations, and at trial. We understand the serious nature of a DUI arrest and will work to minimize the consequences of a criminal charge. If we cannot defeat the underlying charges, we will work to minimize penalties upon conviction.

Continue reading "23-Year-Old DUI Suspect Dies in Holding Cell" »

September 1, 2014

County Incorrectly Calculated Blood-Alcohol Content

A DUI conviction is not as simple as getting arrested and charged. Law enforcement have a duty to collect evidence and the prosecution has a duty to prove that a crime wa committed. While building a case may involve officer and witness statements, surveillance evidence, or field sobriety tests, one of the primary evidential pieces in a DUI case is the blood-alcohol content sample, collected either by blood or breathalyzer. A recent case casts doubt on the legitimacy of breathalyzer evidence, as police in a U.S. county have wrongfully calculated breathalyzer results in hundreds of cases.

bloodtest.JPG

Every case should be reviewed by an experienced and independent advocate. DUI evidence presented by the prosecution can be suppressed if wrongfully obtained and all tests results should be reviewed to ensure that they were obtained and administered properly. Our Birmingham DUI attorneys are experienced in the investigation and defense of clients in Alabama. We will take the time to review the facts, of the case, scrutinize police reports, and determine if charges filed fit the nature of the offense. When possible, we will seek to reduce the charges and penalties in any DUI case.

Continue reading "County Incorrectly Calculated Blood-Alcohol Content" »

August 25, 2014

Checkpoints in Alabama Increase Through Labor Day

DUI checkpoints in Alabama will increase from mid-August through Labor Day. The “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign is intended to reduce the number of drunk drivers on the road, but will ultimately result in an increased number of DUIs issued in Birmingham and statewide.

Individuals who are stopped at a checkpoint should be aware of their rights. While checkpoints are legal, law enforcement offers must follow specific procedures to ensure compliance with the law. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys will review any DUI case involving a checkpoint to determine whether officers were following regulatory standards.

DUIcheck.jpgAccording to reports, the “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign rolled out this month. Through the remainder of August and into early September, law enforcement officials will be increasing efforts to pull over, arrest, and criminally charge alleged drunk drivers. The North Alabama Highway Office reports more than 10,000 people die every year in drunk driving accidents. The campaign is part of an effort to reduce drunk driving accidents. While authorities have good intentions to prevent drunk driving accidents, civil liberties and rights are also important in the process.

Continue reading "Checkpoints in Alabama Increase Through Labor Day" »

August 20, 2014

Alabama and Tennessee Team Up to Launch DUI Campaign

In Alabama and nationwide, anti-DUI campaigns are launched to prevent drunk driving accidents. While the efforts are well intentioned, law enforcement departments, agencies, and their officers will be aggressively targeting drivers with criminal charges and penalties.

While these charges may be warranted in some cases, other drivers will unfairly face arrest and penalties, including jail time, fines, loss of license, and the long-term consequences of a conviction. Alabama and Tennessee are teaming up to launch a highly visible campaign known as “Hands Across Borders” through Labor Day. The goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of DUI-related accidents. Law enforcement officers will be targeting all drivers on the interstates and Alabama and Tennessee roads.

PoliceLights.jpg

Drunk driving can result in serious accidents, injuries and wrongful death. Targeting alleged drunk drivers can result in arrests, jail time, and severe consequences for defendants. While DUI campaigns may reduce drunk driving, individuals who are targeted deserve experienced defense when fighting criminal charges. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of individuals who have been charged with drunk driving. We understand the severe consequences of an arrest and conviction and will work to minimize charges and penalties.

Continue reading "Alabama and Tennessee Team Up to Launch DUI Campaign" »

August 17, 2014

Former Birmingham Mayor’s Grandson Charged With DUI, Felony Murder

In a bizarre and tragic DUI case, the grandson of a former Birmingham mayor has been charged with murder after an alcohol-related accident resulted in the death of a Georgia woman. According to local news reports, the 23-year-old defendant from Pelham has been indicted by a grand jury on charges of malice murder, three counts of aggravated assault and felony murder. Court records indicate the young driver was charged after a June 25th accident that resulted in the death of a 53-year-old woman. He has been held without bond since his arrest.

car%20accident.jpg

In DUI cases that result in serious personal injury or fatalities, the charges will often extend beyond misdemeanor drinking and driving. In the most serious cases of reckless driving or intentional injury, defendants can face manslaughter or even murder charges. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced in handling even the most complex DUI cases. We understand the potential criminal and personal consequences faced by defendants and will explore every available defense in your case. Our priority is ensuring every defendant gets a fair trial and that no Alabama resident is over-charged or over-penalized for their offenses.

Continue reading "Former Birmingham Mayor’s Grandson Charged With DUI, Felony Murder" »

August 14, 2014

Non-Criminal Penalties and Disciplinary Action After DUI

In the event you are pulled over for DUI, your first concerns will likely be the potential for criminal penalties, including jail time, fines and a damaging criminal record. Immediately after an arrest, it is important to remember that you still have rights and the potential to defeat the charges waged against you. Once convicted, you will likely face a host of other consequences in your personal and professional life. As the recent cases involving Alabama football players demonstrates, your DUI could follow you long after your sentence is completed.

backgroundcheck.jpg

The University of Alabama football coach has been criticized for not taking more severe disciplinary action against six players who were convicted of crimes, including two DUIs. The players convicted of the most recent DUIs were suspended from activities, but have not been kicked off the team. These cases are a reminder that a DUI can have additional consequences beyond criminal penalties. Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are experienced in providing strategic advocacy and counsel to individuals who have been pulled over and arrested for drinking and driving. We understand the immediate and long-term consequences of a DUI and will pursue every available defense to avoid conviction.

Continue reading "Non-Criminal Penalties and Disciplinary Action After DUI" »

August 12, 2014

Zero Tolerance Laws for Underage Drunk Driving in Alabama

Underage drinking combined with a DUI can result in serious penalties and lasting consequences for any offender. Parents and juveniles who have been charged should have a clear understanding of how the criminal justice system may work differently for young offenders. Those facing criminal charges should also be aware that stiff penalties and a criminal record could impact future educational and job opportunities. At the time of a juvenile DUI arrest, it is important to consult with a local attorney who can review the facts of your case, the charges filed, and work to minimize penalties.

21%20UP.jpg

While juvenile courts are often more lenient, underage drunk driving offenders will often face more severe penalties than drivers who are over the legal drinking age of 21. Our Birmingham underage drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients. We know that the criminal justice system is complex and will take the time to inform you of your rights, explore your options, and provide optimal representation to achieve the best possible outcome in your case. No juvenile should suffer lifetime consequences for a one-time mistake.

Continue reading "Zero Tolerance Laws for Underage Drunk Driving in Alabama" »

August 9, 2014

Does Eating Yeast Before Drinking Lower BAC?

Whether you are a regular drinker or only drink occasionally, you may not know how much it takes to get you drunk. What factors will contribute to your blood-alcohol content?

Most people know that having enough to eat, drinking water, and spacing the number of drinks you consume over time can reduce the rate at which blood-alcohol levels rise. Recently, researchers investigated whether certain foods can actually break down alcohol faster, thereby reducing your overall blood-alcohol content. According to a report on Alabama Public Radio, a recent study shows that eating yeast could potentially reduce blood-alcohol content.

bloodtest.JPG

No one wants to suffer a dreaded hangover, but even worse, your BAC can make the difference between a DUI charge and staying below the legal limit. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to protecting the rights of DUI defendants throughout Alabama. In addition to staying abreast of legislative developments in DUI law, we are also informed about new research and the relationship between food consumption, alcohol intake, and blood alcohol levels.

Continue reading "Does Eating Yeast Before Drinking Lower BAC?" »

August 6, 2014

MADD Advances Harsher Penalties for Drunk Drivers

In Alabama and nationwide, MADD is spearheading legislative changes to increase penalties for drunk drivers. While reducing accidents and injuries is a positive step forward, the increased penalties, fines, and criminal sentences for offenders can make it difficult to get back on track. In many cases, a first-time offender may be only slightly over the limit or is convicted due to the inaccurate testing. In such cases, defendants need strategic and aggressive advocacy to prevent a criminal drunk driving charge that could carry significant and lasting penalties.

Court.jpg

Since its founding in 1980, MADD has continued to raise awareness about drunk driving and has pushed through legislation to penalize drunk drivers. While the most recent focus is on mandating ignition-interlock devices for first-time offenders, the organization has a long-history of pushing through legislation to curb drunk driving.

Our Birmingham DUI defense attorneys are abreast of legislative changes that impact the rights of our clients. While we are respectful of groups looking to minimize accidents and injuries, we are also committed to ensuring that drivers are not wrongfully convicted or over-penalized for their offenses.

Continue reading "MADD Advances Harsher Penalties for Drunk Drivers" »

August 3, 2014

Interlock Ignition Law Goes Into Effect: But Do They Work?

Legislators, law enforcement, and advocacy groups are always looking for new and innovative ways to curb drunk driving. Raising awareness, increasing fines and penalties, and investing in law enforcement are the primary methods of reducing drunk drivers on the road. Alabama’s new interlock ignition law will go into effect this month, requiring many convicted drunk drivers install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. Ignition-interlock devices will prevent any vehicle from starting if the driver blows above .02. While many ignition devices are court mandated, other drivers have opted for the device in lieu of a driver’s license suspension.

Ignition.jpg

The law was passed in 2011 and is now being fully implemented statewide. Individuals who have been recently charged or arrested for DUI should be aware of legislative changes as well as the potential penalties they may face. Our Birmingham drunk driving defense attorneys are dedicated to providing strategic and informed defense on behalf of our clients. We will take a comprehensive approach to understand the facts of your case, challenge the allegations made against you and work towards the best possible resolution.

Continue reading "Interlock Ignition Law Goes Into Effect: But Do They Work?" »