Confrontation Clause Be Damned: D.C. Continues to Use Surrogate Witnesses in DUI Cases

U.S. Capitol building

  Michael Bruckheim was scheduled to cross-examine Lucas Zarwell, the chief forensic toxicologist in D.C., and a group of DUI lawyers had gathered outside Room 116 yesterday afternoon shortly before 2:00 pm. Zarwell testified before city council last… Read More

Confronting the Silent Witness — the Breath Test Machine — in a DWI Case

U.S. Capitol Building

  The government vouches for him.  He himself doesn’t need to come to court, much less explain the basis for his conclusions.  His “testimony,” which is delivered through an interpreter, consists of nothing more than a couple of… Read More

English v. United States: Aiding and Abetting Flight in a Motor Vehicle

Darnell Anderson was the passenger in a car involved in a shooting.  The car sped away at high speed when police arrived at the scene.  Anderson continued to flee on foot even after the car was stopped.  The… Read More

DWI Defense Is Not For Beginners

Jefferson Memorial

You would think that Jeff Gamso, as a criminal defense lawyer focusing on death penalty cases, might look down his nose at lawyers handling drunk driving cases.  After all, the difference in stakes is enormous. You would be… Read More

On Making Life Easier for Police Officers

U.S. Capitol building

Of all the tricks used by police officers, one of the most devious – yet harmless – tricks I have heard is the ploy they use to take a DWI suspect into custody after deciding to make the… Read More

The “Oopsie” Phenomenon and Other Problems with Urine Tests

Aerial view of DC

With the use of breath test machines temporarily suspended in D.C. because of calibration and accuracy problems, people arrested under suspicion of drinking and driving are currently being administered urine tests. Generally considered even less reliable than the… Read More

The “Disappearing Sway” In A DWI/DUI Case

  “Swaying while balancing” is one of four “clues” used by a police officer to detect intoxication during the One-Leg-Stand component of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST).  The police officer would require only one other clue to… Read More

The Blood/Breath Partition Ratio in a DWI Case

U.S. Capitol Building

The science behind the Intoxilyzer 5000EN and other breath test machines all sounds very impressive.  The problem is that the machines are based on certain assumptions about the person being tested.  If the assumptions are faulty, so are… Read More

The Xeroxing of Arrest Reports in a DWI/DUI Case

Jefferson and Washington monuments

With two DWI trials coming up, I will be focusing myself, as well as this blog, on the science and law related to this issue.  I am also consulting what I have found to be the best resource… Read More

Post-Script On The Guy Who Left His Car On Our Brick Wall

Aerial view of DC

Yesterday I posted about the guy who drove his Lexis onto our brick wall and then left it there.  I assumed he had been drinking. I assumed we would never see him again. And, as suggested by another… Read More