At the side of the road, law enforcement routinely makes DUI arrests based upon results of a Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HGN) test. The underlying premise of the test is: you drink enough alcohol, and then you eyes will show HGN.
Alcohol, however, is not the sole cause of HGN. In State v. Horn, the court recognized the following causes or possible causes of HGN:
- problems with the inner ear labyrinth;
- irrigating the ears with warm or cold water;
- influenza; streptococcus infection;
- Korchaff's syndrome;
- brain hemorrhage;
- motion sickness;
- eye strain;
- eye muscle fatigue;
- changes in atmospheric pressure;
- consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine;
- excessive exposure to nicotine; aspirin;
- circadian rhythms;
- acute head trauma;
- chronic head trauma;
- some prescription drugs; tranquilizers,
- pain medication,
- anti-convulsant medicine;
- disorders of the vestibular apparatus and brain stem;
- cerebellum dysfunction;
- exposure to solvents;
- extreme chilling;
- eye muscle imbalance;
- continuous movement of the visual field past the eyes; and
- antihistamine use.
When should you trust a blood test result that claims to measures an alcohol concentration? Start by reading the test's "Warning Label." Here is an explanation on my legalcoffee blog.
September 17, 2013 by Lawrence Koplow
Filed under Aggavated DUI, Alcohol, Arizona DUI Laws, Blood, Breath Testing, DUI, DUI Defenses, DUI Trials, Felony, Forensic, Phoenix, Science, Scottsdale, Super Extreme DUI, Testing.
In DUI cases, a machine called a gas chromatograph is often used to measure an alcohol concentration in a blood sample. The measurement, which the machine prints at the end of the process, is called a reported result. We are finally at the point in Arizona, where courts are starting to recognize that merely providing a reported result is not sufficient evidence. The law is coming to the same realization that science did many years ago: a reported result from a machine is an incomplete measurement.
A complete measurement includes more than just a reported result. As a matter of fact, simply providing a reported result is often misleading. A reported result is only complete when accompanied by a “statement of its uncertainty.” See NIST Technical Note 1297, 1994 Edition. No measurement is perfect. The result of any measurement is only an estimation of its value. A “statement of uncertainty” is the range of doubt that exists regarding a measurement.
A complete test result, must also include:
- a “Range of Uncertainty” and;
- a “Confidence Interval.”
To illustrate, let’s assume that a blood test result was .100. Let’s also assume, based on a review of the machine’s prior performance, a “range of uncertainty” was determined to be ± 5%, with a “confidence interval” of 100%. This means, the reported result could be as low as a .095 and as high as a .105. Moreover, this also means, if the same blood sample were repeatedly tested on this equipment, the result would only be outside of the ± 5% range 1 out of a million times. If this statistic were true, this would certainty be a reported result that you could trust.
On the other hand, what if for the same reported result of .100 the range was ± 30%, with a confidence interval of 50%? Here, this means the reported result could be as low as .070 or as high as .130. Furthermore, if you continued to test this sample on the same equipment, 300,000 times of out of a million, the reported result would be outside the range stated above.
When comparing the two complete test results, you can see that providing a mere reported result does not tell us the whole story. Merely telling us the reported result can actually tell us a very misleading story. Science will not accept incomplete measurements. Why should the law?
In July of 2012, I asked a member of the Scottsdale Crime Lab for an interview about some rumors. She refused and told me to get a court order. At that time I was surprised. Why would she refuse to do a routine interview? Today we know the answer.
Today we now know that: (1) the Scottsdale Crime Lab’s blood testing equipment is unreliable; and (2) the testimony of the crime lab personnel is not trustworthy. Don’t take my word for it – just read the court’s opinion by clicking here.
For some people, driving under the influence seems to be about tempting fate. Hoping they won’t get caught, all too many people get behind the wheel and head for home. Or the next party. If they are lucky, no one gets hurt and they thank their stars, promising they will never do it again- until next time. And so it goes.
The fact of the matter is, many people do get caught DUI in the State of Florida. The busy executive who scored a great promotion and had a brief and unexpected celebration on the way home. Or the young, excitable cheerleader who has recently got her license. For some, one brush with the law is enough to put them back on the straight and narrow for the rest of their days.
Then there are those who when it comes to DUI convictions, are relentless. Or in legalese “repeat offenders”. This is certainly the case with forty-two-year old Jimmy Williams of Tarpon Springs, who was arrested for DUI by Florida police last Tuesday – making this his fifth DUI charge since 1998.
Unlike party princess Paris Hilton, who is also a member of the DUI club, Williams made no excuses for his actions.
As a Pasco County Sheriff deputy pulled him over on this outrageous fifth DUI charge, Williams stepped out of his truck, can of Busch beer in hand and pulled no punches, admitting; “I’m wasted, ya got me”. Needless to say, Williams has now lost his license indefinitely.
While the media often casts a humorous light on stories like this, DUI is no laughing matter. Being arrested and charged with DUI is a mere annoyance when compared to the worst case scenario possible when someone makes the reckless choice to get behind the wheel while intoxicated: the tragedy of a fatal accident.
If convicted of DUI Florida, the individual faces loss of license. So what are the statistics?
The State of Florida has an appalling record. Taking third place in the entire nation when it comes to fatalities caused by DUI, Florida DMV records show that last year alone there were 33,625 DUI convictions in Florida. Of the 55,722 DUI tickets issued in Florida in 2011 – 9,328 were issued by the FHP, 23,649 were issued by police departments in Florida, and 21,868 were issued by Florida Sheriff’s departments.
So if once isn’t enough for you, what can you expect to face when it come to a DUI conviction? Florida law mandates that any driver convicted of a second DUI have an Ingnition Interlock device installed in their vehicle.
How does Ignition Interlock work?
Installed at your expense, the Ignition Interlock works in the following way:
1. You breathe into the device to start the car
2. Five minutes later the device beeps and you have to breathe again
3. About every 30 minutes the Interlock beeps and you must breathe into it.
Your results are transmitted to the Florida DMV and stored for future reference.
For more information on the Ignition Interlock program including installation and calibration costs, visit the DMV website.
Looking for Pasco County DUI Lawyer?
TMZ Reports that Rachel Connor was arrested with former NFL star Edward George and she blew a .133, a tad over the limit.
Retired NFL star Eddie George was sitting in the passenger seat … when pro golferRachel Connor was busted for drunk driving in Florida early this morning … TMZ has learned.
Connor — a 21-year-old British golf pro — was pulled over at 2:21 AM in Sarasota, Florida … after cops say they noticed her speeding and weaving in her lane.
According to the police report, obtained by TMZ … cops smelled booze when they approached the vehicle … and Connor admitted to drinking 2 vodka cranberries earlier in the evening.
Cops noticed a man in the passenger seat … who was identified as 38-year-old Eddie George … former NFL star and Heisman Trophy winner.
According to the report, Connor was given a breathalyzer test and blew a .133 and a .137 … way over the legal limit, .08. Cops say she had trouble walking straight and couldn’t count in numerical order.
According to the report, Cops asked Rachel if she could turn back the clock and change any of her decisions what would it be? … And Rachel responded, she would have decided “not to drive.”
Hours before the arrest, Connor tweeted a photo of Eddie on the golf course … and another photo of herself and Eddie posing together at an event.
For the record — Eddie was NOT arrested. We’re told he took a cab home after the incident.
Man Eddie George is living a charmed life I would say! I mean how F’d up was he that he let her drive. Wonder where they were off to?!
Fullerton California Drunk Driving
Torri Law Offices
We Keep DUI Fees Affordable…
Today, many cases settle within the first two appearances. Joe Torri believes that settling a case should not cost thousands of dollars. On the other hand, thorough representation including several court appearances, motions to suppress evidence, DMV representation, toxicology screenings and other procedures for your defense, often result in higher fees, but generally is required to defend a case you choose to fight.
Keep in mind with all DUI bookings and eventual release, you must also schedule a DMV administrative license suspension hearing within 10 calendar days.
Visit the Fullerton DUI Lawyers or call them toll free at 1-800-772-3034.
Alabama First Offender
You Are DUI:
If you have 08% BAC (blood alcohol content) or any amount that would render the driver incapable of safely driving. DUI applies to both alcohol and drugs – even prescription drugs.
- Fine: $600-$2100.
- Additional $100 fine to Impaired Drivers Trust Fund.
- Imprisonment: Not more than 1 year (no mandatory minimum).
- Driver’s License Suspended – 90 days.
Alcohol Education or Treatment:
Following conviction, all offenders receive a mandatory alcohol assessment/evaluation to determine the nature and extent of their alcohol problems. The assessment costs $50 and the offender usually pays.
- All offenders are required to attend education or treatment as recommended by the assessment.
- In most cases, repeat offenders are required to attend an intensive out-patient treatment program with monitoring by the court referral officer.
- Offenders failing to comply with the terms of their program are not eligible for license reinstatement and may be returned to the court for further action.
Under 21 (first offense):
Under 21 with .02% BAC, but less than .08%:
- 30 days license Suspension
- If Juvenile (under 18), may impose delinquency dispositions, including $250 fine Completion of DUI/Substance Abuse Court Referral Program
Under 21 with .08% BAC and over:
- DUI Fines only, may not assess additional Juvenile fine of $250; but if under 18, may utilize other juvenile dispositional alternatives.
Day Care and School Bus Drivers – .02% BAC or more (first offense):
- 1 year license suspension
- Fine – $600 – $2100 and/or
- Imprisonment for not more than 1 year
- Completion of DUI/Substance Abuse Court Referral Program
Commercial Vehicle Drivers (First Violation):
- 1 Year Suspension: for a BAC of .04 or more.
- 2 Year Suspension: for failure to submit to test.
Upon conviction or guilty plea, your insurance rates will probably rise to an unmanageable level. Your current company may drop your account and you may pay much more for less coverage at another carrier.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI (driving under the influence), it is essential to have an experienced and skilled DUI defense attorney to protect your rights.
DUI cases are not “open and shut” cases and are very defensible.
Visit Palm Springs DUI Lawyers
Drivers in Arizona who are convicted with driving under the influence (DUI) charges for the first time will receive a “slightly gentler” sentence, starting January 1st next year.
A new state law set to take effect when the New Year comes in will reduce the amount of time that first-time offenders are required to have an ignition-interlock device on their vehicles, from one year to six months.
Interlock devices prevent vehicles from turning on if alcohol is detected in the driver’s breath. Arizona is known as among the toughest states when it comes to DUI laws, as it is one of only 15 that require first-time offenders to have interlock devices.
The length of time that an interlock device is used varies by state, and with the reduction, Arizona joins the ranks of Oregon, New Jersey, and Missouri, which require interlock devices for a period of six months.
The change was proposed early this year by Sen. Linda Gray of Glendale, who said that while she still believes in requiring interlock devices, she thinks that six months is long enough to teach a lesson.
The Arizona Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), however, opposed the change to the law. Since Arizona required first-time offenders to have interlock devices, the number of DUI fatalities has decreased, and MADD Arizona program specialist Kelley Dupps said that they will be monitoring whether the new law will cause an increase in the number of DUI fatalities.
Dupps said: “We definitely feel the interlock law has made a huge difference in the DUI fatalities in Arizona… Interlocks allow offenders to get back on the road and drive safely while the community can rest assured that they are driving safely.”
If you’ve been charged with DUI in Arizona, it’s very important that you contact an Arizona DUI lawyer to discuss your legal situation.