Traffic Law DUI/DWI

Criminal Offense of Failure to Use/Improper Use of Turn Signals, Headlights, and Emergency Flashers

In the exercise of its police power, a state may establish minimum equipment and usage standards for lighting equipment of motor vehicles, including headlamps, rear lighting, turn signals, and hazard warning lights. More...

Elements of Felony DUI/DWI

The elements of the criminal offense of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are universal in most jurisdictions. The elements include the following: (1) that the defendant operated or was in physical control of a vehicle upon a roadway; (2) within the court's jurisdiction; and (3) and the operation occurred while the defendant was either under the influence of an intoxicant or narcotic to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired or the defendant was driving with a blood alcohol concentration above a prohibited level. More...

Overview of Implied Consent in Drunk Driving Cases

Understandably, when a motorist is pulled over for drunk driving, the motorist is generally reluctant to agree to a chemical test because the test results could be used as evidence to convict the motorist of a drunk driving offense. Many states have implied consent laws that essentially provide that a person that drives a motor vehicle is deemed to have given consent to chemical testing of his or her blood or urine for the purpose of determining the alcohol content of the motorist's blood if the motorist is lawfully arrested. More...

Warrantless Searches of Automobile Compartments

The law of search and seizure is guided by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment, which protects individuals from unwarranted invasions of their privacy interests, requires that searches of private property be performed pursuant to a search warrant. Over time, however, the United States Supreme Court has allowed an exception for warrantless searches of automobiles. The justification for the exception is based upon the mobility of automobiles and the diminished expectation of privacy in automobiles. More...

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. More...

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