Intox EC/IR II

Let’s talk about Narron… and Simmons

Earlier this week I wrote about a particularly silly attempt to shift the burden of proof in a driving under the influence trial. To briefly recap: a prosecutor argued that once the .08 had come into evidence in a DWI bench trial, the state had “discharged its burden,” and that in order for the Defense…

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Per Se BAC Limits and DWI Cases

Shea Denning has a hypothetical DWI jury instructions question at the UNC School of Government’s Criminal Law blog. She asks whether, in a per se DWI case, the judge should give the pattern jury instruction which includes the line: “The results of a chemical analysis are deemed sufficient evidence to prove a person’s alcohol concentration.”…

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The Intox EC/IR II: A Black Box

Imagine tax day comes around and the government asks you to submit all your receipts, your W2s, your bank statements, and other financial documents. Imagine further that the government then inputs all of this material into a huge black box called The Tax Machine. After a few seconds, the machine spits out a number. Maybe…

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DWI and the Intox EC/IR II

Let’s imagine you had a device – we’ll call it a breathalyzer – into which you could have people blow and claim to definitively establish what that person’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) was for court purposes. Let’s imagine that over time this device became obsolete, and you developed a new, better device. When describing the…

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Early DWI Tests and the Drunkometer

“The use of the Drunkometer assures an honest prosecution and eliminates the chance of error under the Drunk Motor Law,” a Detroit police official stated. Commentators often remarked that science had now entered the field. As a New York Times reporter wrote, “Science is replacing guesswork in obtaining evidence in drunken-driving cases.” Lerner, Barron H.…

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Handling a traffic stop

Most every driver in North Carolina will be pulled over at some point in his or her lifetime. This can be a very nerve racking experience. Blue lights come on; how fast must I pull over, where is a good location, what if there isn’t room to pull off, etc.? Though most traffic stops will…

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Minnesota Judge Rules Intoxilyzer Results Invalid

North Carolina no longer uses the Intoxilyzer 5000. It uses the Intox EC/IR II. But a Minnesota judge recently ruled that the Intoxilyzer results are invalid, which puts into jeopardy some 4,000 cases. The reason comes down the source code – the computer code that powers the machine. Since the manufacturer, CMI of Kentucky, has…

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North Carolina Driving While Impaired: Limited Driving Privileges

A North Carolina DWI (Driving While Impaired) arrest will result in an automatic “civil revocation” of a person’s driving privileges in North Carolina. If the person holds a NC driver’s license, the person’s license is revoked for 30 days and the person may not drive in any state, including North Carolina. If the person holds…

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DWI: A common crime, an out-of-control industry

In the late 1970s, it became apparent to people not just in the United States but in other parts of the world that too many people were dying on the roads as a result of drunk driving.  Because the United States is such a large country and most people rely upon their cars to travel…

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Does a .08 BAC compel a guilty verdict in a DWI in NC?

North Carolina’s DWI statute – NCGS 20-138.1 – provides the State with three possibilities in convicting a person of Driving While Impaired in North Carolina.  The State can either convict the person upon a showing that the person had a .08 or above Blood Alcohol Concentration at a relevant time after driving, that the person…

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