Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters

Breathalyzer versus Blood Tests in Drunk Driving Cases

The most frequently used test in drunk driving cases is the breath test, or Breathalyzer test. The breath test is used more frequently that urine or blood tests to test for the blood alcohol level because it is less intrusive and the apparatus is easily portable and convenient to use, even in the field. Because blood tests are universally relied upon as stronger evidence than breath tests, the prosecution will seek it whenever it can. In many states, a blood test may only be administered in cases involving death or serious bodily injury, or when the motorist required medical treatment and the administration of a breath or urine test was impractical or impossible. ¤Although a motorist may refuse this test, the refusal is usually admissible in evidence against the motorist at the administrative or judicial hearing.

Criminal Offense of Attempting to Elude

It is against the law to attempt to elude a police officer by willfully failing to stop a vehicle if the officer gives you an audible or visual signal to stop and the police officer is in uniform, prominently displaying a badge or other insignia. If a police officer is in an appropriately marked official police vehicle when he or she gives the signal stop, whether or not the officer is in uniform, the vehicle driver may not attempt to elude the officer by willfully failing to stop the vehicle.

Criminal Offense of Failure to Assist an Injured Person

Motorists involved in any type of motor vehicle accident where personal injury or death occurs are required to remain at the scene until police arrive. All states have statutes setting out certain procedures a motorist must follow after involvement in a collision causing death or injury. Moreover, the statutes treat the term “accident” or “collision” to include all automobile collisions, intentional as well as unintentional.

Elements of Vehicular Homicide

Vehicular homicide statutes vary, but generally vehicular homicide occurs where someone causes the death of a human being, not constituting murder or manslaughter, as a result of operating a motor vehicle.

Physician-Patient Privilege in Drunk Driving Cases

It is common for a motorist suspected of drunk driving to come into contract with a physician. For example, if the motorist is injured in a traffic accident, first aid may be administered by a physician at the accident scene or the motorist may be taken to a hospital for treatment. In addition, law enforcement agencies often have policies in place that require them to take any motorists that are suspected of being intoxicated to a physician.