“If Canada’s new impaired driving laws are passed police could show up on your doorstep — up to two hours after you arrive home — to demand a breath or saliva sample.” The proposals would “[drop] the requirement that officers must first have reasonable suspicion before demanding a breath test,” and shift to the accused the burden of proving that the timing of drinking as reflected in a breath test was legally innocent. Critics predicted a challenge under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to the changes, “which were announced the same day the federal government unveiled its bill to legalize marijuana.” [Bryan Labby, CBC]
Thanks, everyone, for pitching that “caffeine DUI” story but it doesn’t really show Solano County, Calif. charging anyone with such an offense. [Guardian] Indeed, as the 11th paragraph gets around to explaining, “The charge of driving under the influence is not based upon the presence of caffeine in his system,” in the prosecutor’s words. The question is whether, following tests that the defense lawyer says clear Mr. Schwab of any suggestion of intoxicants in his system, the prosecution should have to explain its reasons for not dropping charges originally premised on what an officer said was erratic driving. Anyway, it was a nice story.
Update: charges dropped.
“A Wisconsin man who blamed his beer-battered fish fry after he was pulled over the 10th time for drunken driving is going to prison.” A judge didn’t buy his excuse that the smell of alcohol on his breath noted during the Dell Prairie traffic stop was from the savory ingredient. [Chicago Tribune]
After a Florida lawyer’s TV ads cultivate his “reputation for aggressively going after drunken drivers,” guess what happens next [New York Daily News]
- Supreme Court agrees to review CRST Vans Expedited v. EEOC (Eighth Circuit) on standard for prevailing-party fee awards in EEOC cases, could mean help for defendants against overzealous government lawyering (and thanks for quote) [Sean Higgins, Washington Examiner, earlier here and here]
- 6-3 win for arbitration and freedom of contract in DirecTV case [Deborah LaFetra/PLF, Daniel Fisher, ABA Journal] WSJ editorial: Bravo to Justice Breyer for upholding as precedent what he’d earlier dissented from on substance [Texans for Lawsuit Reform reprint]
- OK to choke off legal defense by freezing all assets before trial, even if not criminally obtained? [Radley Balko]
- South Carolina $124 million penalty against Risperdal maker should be recognized as violating Excessive Fines clause [Ilya Shapiro and Randal John Meyer, Cato]
- “Supreme Court will review state laws making it a crime to refuse blood-alcohol tests” [ABA Journal, Reason]
- Helpless against the administrative state: revisiting SCOTUS’s awful 1944 Yakus case [James Conde and Michael Greve, SSRN via Michael Greve, Law and Liberty]
- New Akron Law Review symposium on class action jurisprudence of Roberts Court [Paul Karlsgodt]
Bringing a restrained and tasteful approach to your DUI case:
Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) wants alcohol interlocks to be made mandatory on all new cars. Rice, a former prosecutor, “recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD),” which has pushed the expensive interlocks-for-everyone notion. Earlier here, here, here, here, etc.
- Skull and crossbones to follow: San Francisco pols decree health warnings on soft drink, Frappuccino billboards [Steve Chapman]
- Judge criticizes feds’ punitive handling of AIG rescue as unlawful, but says no damages are owed to Hank Greenberg [Bloomberg, Thaya Knight/Cato, Gideon Kanner who predicted outcome, W$J]
- Congress resisting Obama/HUD scheme to force communities to build low-income housing [Jonathan Nelson/Economics21, Marc Thiessen, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing or AFFH]
- California, following New York, proposes 50 hours of mandatory pro bono work for prospective lawyers [John McGinnis]
- Five part Renee Lettow Lerner series on historical role and present-day decay of juries [Volokh Conspiracy, introduction, parts one, two, three, four, five] Related: Mike Rappaport and follow-up on Seventh Amendment, Liberty and Law.
- Latest Scotland drunk-driving blood threshold: Drivers “warned that having ‘no alcohol at all’ is the only way to ensure they stay within the limit” [Independent via Christopher Snowdon]
- How not to argue for bail reform: Scott Greenfield vs. NYT op-ed writer [Simple Justice]
“During this weekend’s St. Patrick’s Day festivities, motorists in Roanoke County who are suspected of driving while impaired and refuse breath tests could be ordered to submit to blood tests. … According to state law, anyone who operates a motor vehicle on a road has consented to have samples of blood, breath or both taken for a test to determined the level of alcohol or drugs in his blood.” [Roanoke Times; earlier on “no refusal” blood tests for drivers here, here, here, etc.]