Tougher DWI Laws Proposed on Breathalyzer Refusal

By admin

According to Louisiana DUI laws, refusing a breathalyzer test can help drunk drivers avoid DUI penalties, so state Rep. Tim Burns, R-Mandeville, is looking to pass stricter DUI laws to combat this problem.

If a person refuses a breathalyzer today, he or she may face a 180 day driver’s license suspension. The new DUI laws Burns is purposing would suspend a driver’s license for one year for refusing a breathalyzer test the first time.

The bill has been passed by Louisiana lawmakers and is waiting Governor Bobby Jindal’s signature. The law would become effective Sept. 1.

“The tide has really shifted in this issue,” Burns told the press. “It wasn’t that long ago that you could have open containers in the cars, and that’s slowly been gotten rid of, and I think as we move to a society and a state that’s more conscious of this issue, it’s just trying to provide for the public safety of it’s citizens.”

The bill has been criticized by some for infringing on people’s civil liberties, but it is receiving support in most communities.

A response was sent by Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, supporting the bill. MADD expressed that eventually, the group would like to see breathalyzer refusal a criminal offense.



Lasting Impact of DUI Arrest

By Mary Ann

Both driver and passenger were charged with DUI in Lanesboro, Minn., recently.

According to the Winona Daily News, the passenger of the vehicle grabbed the wheel of the car, causing the vehicle to careen into a ditch. When officers arrived, they found both the driver and the wheel-grabbing passenger had been drinking.

Even though the passenger was only in control of the vehicle briefly, she was still charged with a DWI. That drunk driving charge may stay with her for the rest of her life. The consequences could long outlive any jail time or fines she might face.

The long-lasting consequences are well-illustrated by a story out of Canada (via Paul Kennedy). When a man applied for appointment to a judicial seat in Grand Falls-Windsor he “forgot” to list a DUI conviction from 18 years ago. When background checks discovered this fact, he was forced to resign in what he calls “the worst day of my life.”

And speaking of Canada, Marina Sedai, of MCRea & Associates points out on Twitter that a DUI may be make someone “criminally inadmissible”  from visiting or immigrating to Canada.

Add these stories together and you’ll see why so many people choose to seek the help of a DUI lawyer when fighting their DUI charge.



Ride-Along With Minnesota DWI Arrest

By Mary Ann

The busy season for DUI arrests may be over, but police officers across the country are still keeping their eyes open for drunk drivers.

What can you expect when you get pulled over? TwinCities.com offers a great video ride-along with Minnesota State Trooper Adam Flynn, who is has led his department in DUI arrests each of the last four years.

In the video, which was shot in St. Paul, Officer Flynn talks about what he looks for when stopping drivers, and you’ll even see a full arrest, with field sobriety test, breathalyzer and booking.

Each year in Minnesota 40,000 are arrested for DUI, according to the Department of Public Safety. This winter, the state started a program to let citizens give “Designated Driver Certificates” which promise a safe ride to a friend.



Tenth DWI = Life in Prison?

By Mary Ann

While DUI penalties vary from state to state, it is important to know that they most often increase after a first conviction.

Some states have DUI laws in which multiple convictions can lead to longer driver’s license suspensions, prison sentences or time spent with ignition interlock devices installed in vehicles, as just a couple of examples.

This point about increased DUI penalties for multiple convictions is especially clear in the recent case of a 53-year-old Texas man, who may now spend the rest of his living years in prison following his tenth DWI conviction:

Texas Man Convicted of 10th DWI May Die Behind Bars.

If you’re facing a DUI charge and are worried about possible penalties and prison time, don’t wait any longer to get in touch with a DUI lawyer.



Man Killed Trying to Stop Fiancé From DUI

By Guest Attorney

A woman in Centereach, New York killed her fiancé while he was trying to protect her from drunk driving. 

Newsday reports that a witness heard Louis Weiderer tell Jesenia Vega she was going to get arrested if she tried to drive in her condition. Weiderer was leaning in the car’s window arguing with her.

After she screamed at him to leave her alone, she slammed on the accelerator, dragging Weiderer to his death.

Vega was arrested and charged with DUI (DWI in New York). She is likely to be charged with some form of manslaughter.



South Dakota DWI Bracelets Expand 24/7 Sobriety Project

By Mary Ann

Some South Dakota DWI defendants may soon find themselves wearing leg bracelets that will continuously monitor alcohol content.

Since January 2005, South Dakota DWI suspects in some counties have been required to submit to breathalyzer tests twice a day while their cases were pending. However, the program has been difficult to implement in rural areas.

South Dakota DWI enforcement agencies have now received 25 of 100 alcohol monitoring bracelets purchased by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). These bracelets will allow remote monitoring of the alcohol content in the defendant’s sweat.



North Carolina Limits Judges’ Power in DWI Cases

By Mary Ann

The North Carolina legislature recently approved a bill that will limit the authority of judges in DWI cases.

The change in language comes in response to a study that indicated that many judges were dismissing DWI charges or making not-guilty findings in cases where the breathalyzer test reading had been at .08 or above if evidence indicated that the driver had not been impaired.

Read the full story here: North Carolina Legislature Toughens DWI Law