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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Driving While Impaired & The Supreme Court

A person is arrested for driving while impaired. The arrestee refuses to give a chemical test- either a blood or breath test. Should the police be required to get a warrant before they 'force blood' from the suspect? The Supreme Court has taken up the issue.

Forced blood draws have been controversial for years. I have seen them done many times. As a former prosecutor, I regularly handled cases from police departments that forced blood. One police department actually had a designated forced blood draw chair for DWI suspects who refused to submit to a chemical test.  It was actually more than a chair- very similar to the photo to the left (credits to http://blog.jeffcitylaw.com/?p=1188). Rather, it appeared more like barbaric torture device.

It will be interesting to see how the Supreme Court will rule on this issue. Not surprisingly, many police departments refuse to force blood because of the civil liability. Aside from the civil liability, should police officers be required to obtain a warrant from a judicial official before they force blood?


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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Our Future


Parents are always surprised to learn that their 16 or 17 year old child will be treated as an adult in  the North Carolina criminal justice system. North Carolina is one of two states in the United States that still maintains the age of 16. I am a proponent of raising the age to 18. I believe too much in the ability of a child to change.

Today I participated in the Isabella Santos Race for Kids Cancer. For more about her story, click here. I saw the tenacity of children. I saw children come together and run for a cause that had nothing to do with winning. Sometimes, it's not about winning, it's about the intention behind the race.

For some, it was about running for a young girl who fought to the very end.

For some, it was about achieving a goal they thought was unachievable. I saw a boy fall down in the beginning, get up and finish the race. I saw a girl reach the the halfway mark, slow down, shocked that she made it halfway. She ran faster after that. People cheered for everyone, but each child soaked it in as their own individual achievement when they crossed the finish line. You saw their steps get longer and their head held higher. I saw two girls, not more than four years old, run across the finish line together.

I believe that children can succeed, give them a goal, they can achieve. For those who make mistakes, give them a second chance at success. Raise the age.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

High Speed Traffic Tickets

ABC News recently had a story about law enforcement officers who were caught speeding. Some officers were arrested for speeds over 100 miles per hour.

I've blogged before about the seriousness of high speed traffic citations. Last year, Kyle Busch was cited for traveling 128 mph in 45 mph. Some felt he should be held to a higher standard of conduct because of his place in the race car industry.

 Are you more offended when a law enforcement officer breaks the law? What is worse-  Kyle Busch or a police officer? Should the person's occupation have no bearing in the issue? It brings up the question whether law enforcement officers should be held to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen.  Should the punishment be more severe if an officer of the law were found guilty for this offense?




Regardless of your job, any speeds cited for over 90 mph are very serious offenses. It's not just a speeding ticket. You can be sentenced to jail for such high speeds. Consult an attorney before you go to court.

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