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Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters

Admissibility of Evidence of Drug Use in Driving Under the Influence of Drugs Cases

The finding of a drug of abuse in a subject’s blood or urine may result in extreme prejudice against the defendant even if evidence of impairment is not convincing. The mere presence of such a controlled substance may be enough for conviction. For this reason, many courts require probable cause for suspecting drug impairment before a sample can be taken and/or analyzed for the drug. The Drug Evaluation and Classification program (DRE) evaluation in some cases will be enough to show probable cause.

Criminal Offense of Hit and Run and Failure to Remain at the Scene

A hit and run car accident is generally defined as a person’s failure to stop after a motor vehicle accident. When a person operating a motor vehicle is involved in an accident, the operator is legally required to stop, provide information to the owner of whatever property is damaged, and provide any aid to anyone who may have been injured. Many state statutes require a motorist to render all the aid that reasonably appears to him or her, as an ordinary person, to be necessary. The duty is not excused even if the injured person is unconscious, dead, or believed to be dead.

DUI School

In an effort to attack the problem of drunken driving, most drunk driving legislation currently provides a combination of punishment and treatment. Consequently, offenders charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI) are sentenced to probation rather than incarceration. As part of their probationary conditions, DWI/DUI offenders are often directed to participate in a driver education program, commonly referred to as “DUI schools,” which incorporate alcohol rehabilitation and education programs.

Pre-Sentencing Alcohol Evaluations in DUI/DWI Cases

Most state laws governing driving under the influence (DUI) and/or driving while intoxicated (DWI) mandate that offenders receive intervention and treatment. According to these laws, if an offender is convicted of DWI/DUI, the offender is required to obtain a clinical substance abuse assessment to determine whether he or she will be recommended to complete a substance abuse education class or treatment program.

Warrantless Inventory Searches of Impounded Vehicles

Under the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, every search or seizure by a government agent must be reasonable. In general, searches and seizures are unreasonable and invalid unless based on probable cause and executed pursuant to a warrant. However, certain kinds of searches and seizures are valid as exceptions to the probable cause and warrant requirements. One such exception is an inventory search of an impounded vehicle. Court have upheld inventory searches of vehicles lawfully in police custody, including searches of the passenger compartment, glove compartment, trunk, engine compartments, and any containers in the vehicle.