Presumed Guilt Continues in DUI Cases

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on January 15th, 2009

In this country, we have certain constitutional protections.  One of the most important of these is the presumption of innocence.  But as I’ve posted repeatedly in the past, this no longer exists in drunk driving cases.  See, for example, Whatever Happened to the Presumption of Innocence? and If You Can’t Prove It, Make the Defendant Disprove It.  And for those who think this is limited to DUIs, keep in mind that we are a nation of legal precedent — that if the Constitution is ignored in drunk driving cases today, it can be ignored in free speech cases tommorrow.  See my post, Who Cares About Drunks?

In yesterday’s news, yet another example of the new presumption of guilt in America:

Law Requires Detection Device After DUI Arrest

Illinois.  Jan. 14 – On Jan. 1, an Illinois law took effect that requires people arrested — not convicted — for the first time of drunk driving to install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device in their vehicle.

"It’s a great concept," said Officer Anthony Ikis of River Grove, who in 2007 arrested 200 drunk drivers. "I really like it. I hope it works."

Drivers must pay the cost of the devices, $80 to $100 to install, and the monthly $110 for rental and monitoring fees.

"The money aspect is pretty frightening," Ikis said. "When money comes out of people’s pockets, people start to think a little bit more."

Guilty (and punished) until proven innocent…."A great concept".

  • dagnabit9

    In New Mexico, they can revoke your license by just being arrested for DUI. Another great concept! They also don’t allow a jury trial for first time DUI…

  • jebbecaz

    ya know….this site is amazing…who would have ever thought that these things could happen here in the US. And now we are sooooo concerned that the suspected terrorists in Gitmo don’t have their full rights…UH…correct me if I am wrong but they ARE NOT even American citizens. It will be a sad day in this country when/if the are afforded MORE rights under a charge of terrorism than a US citizen for a driving crime (and yes…driving under the influence should be a crime)…Someday I would love to chat with a MADD leader to see how the reconcile the erosion of basic constitutional rights….come on MADD….reply right on here….

    Thanks…just needed to vent