About DUIblog

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on October 16th, 2004

This website is about the other side of the story….

Both BooksFor years we have read about the “slaughter on the nation’s highways”, watched tragic stories of promising lives cut short by drunk drivers. Pressure groups such as MADD have been wildly successful in fomenting public hysteria and, with no politican daring to oppose them, pushing through ever stricter laws and harsher punishments. As a result, we are repeatedly assured, the number of “alcohol related” traffic fatalities continues to drop dramatically.

My name is Lawrence Taylor. I’m a lawyer in Southern California. I defend those accused of driving under the influence. I see the other side of the story every day.

I see the politicans stumbling over themselves to prove who is the toughest on drunk drivers. I see the judges nervously watching members of MADD in the audience as they pass sentence in a DUI case. I see the the steady erosion of our Constitutional rights in DUI cases, a phenomenon that has come to be known as “the DUI exception to the Constitution“: illegal DUI sobriety checkpoints, forceful and violent seizure of blood, no right to see a lawyer, double jeopardy, denial of the right to jury trial, presumptions of guilt, defective breath tests blindly accepted into evidence, scientific facts banned by law from the courtroom, routine violations of due process and basic fairness in trial….all because “the ends justify the means.”

But there is a cost to this perversion of the American system of justice. There are unseen victims: you and I. And I would like to talk about that. I invite your comments….

So, you ask, who is this guy? And what makes him such an expert? The following is from promotional materials for a seminar at which I recently spoke:

Lawrence Taylor is the most respected DUI attorney in the country today. A former Marine and graduate of the University of California at Berkeley (1966) and the UCLA School of Law (1969), he served as deputy county counsel, deputy public defender and deputy district attorney in Los Angeles before entering private practice. He was the trial judge’s legal advisor in People vs Charles Manson, was Supreme Court counsel in the Onion Field murder case, and was retained by the Attorney General of Montana as an independent Special Prosecutor to conduct a one-year grand jury probe of governmental corruption.

Turning to teaching, Mr. Taylor was a member of the faculty of Gonzaga University School of Law, where in his second year he was voted “Professor of the Year”; served as Visiting Associate Professor at Pepperdine University Law School; and was appointed Fulbright Professor of Law at Osaka University in Japan.

Mr. Taylor is also the author of over thirty articles and 14 books, including the standard textbooks on DUI litigation, Drunk Driving Defense, 6th ed., and California Drunk Driving Defense, 3rd ed., and over the past 25 years has proven a popular lecturer on trial tactics and techniques at over 200 legal seminars in 38 states. He was one of the original 12 founders of the National College for DUI Defense, later serving as its Dean. On July 25, 2002, at Harvard Law School, Mr. Taylor was presented with the College’s “Lifetime Achievement Award”.

Mr. Taylor currently limits the practice of his 11-attorney California DUI Law Firm to drunk driving defense exclusively.

  • tim@roguevalleygroup.com

    Dear Lawrence,

    You invited comments so here goes. This is a comment and a question.

    I just read your entry on “DUI and the presumption of guilt.” Well written and at a level I could follow and understand.

    My question is this:

    Do you recognize that operating a motor vehicle while under the
    influence is dangerous (AKA negligent) and if so, what standards for
    proving guilt would you accept as reasonable?


    Just another visitor to your web site,
    Tim Burleson

  • Lawrence Taylor

    Thanks for your comments.
    Yes, of course, I appreciate that DUI is dangerous.  I have a son who gets constant lectures from me, and I live with the fear that he may be the victim of a drunk driver.  It is a crime and it should be a crime, just as is theft or murder — but I do not believe that we should abandon constitutional protections when those offenses are involved either.
    What standards would I accept as reasonable for proving guilt in a DUI cases?  The same as for any other crime:  proof beyond a reasonable doubt.  And as with any other crime, the state bears that burden of proof:  Unlike many third world countries, we do not require our citizens to prove their innocence. 
    When the law imposes legal presumptions, such as presuming that a person is under the influence if a breath machine registers .08% or higher (particularly when we know as scientific fact that this is not necessarily true), then we force the accused to prove that he was not under the influence — i.e., that he is not guilty.  Similarly, when the law requires the jury to be instructed by the judge that the defendant is legally presumed to have the same blood-alcohol level at the time of driving two hours earlier as at the time of the test (again, when we know with scientific certainty that this is absolutely not true), we again force the defendant to prove that his level was not over .08% two hours earlier — i.e., that he is innocent.
    In other words, I would accept as reasonable the same standards that apply with other criminal offenses — standards that are supposedly constitutionally mandated.

  • htrd475@yahoo.com

    Thank you!
    Can you help me with a dui in PA.?
    I’ve been thru prelim and refusal appeal with ineffective councel.
    I was parked with keys un-findable.
    I asked for an attorney and got wrote up for refusal.
    Went to hospital 12 hrs later with high blood pressure, high sugar and fatigue. driving from Fla. to NY.
    Am firing attorney. will represent myself.

  • therealseda@gmail.com

    Dear Lawrence,
    I just wanted to comment on your site. This is a very good site for information about DUI laws and issues. I only wish I knew about this site sooner. Keep up the good work. I know you are a busy man and not sure how often you check this site, but any updates are well apprecitated.
    Thanks again for bringing this site to the world wide web.

  • Lawrence Taylor

    Thnak you for the kind comments, Xavier.

  • mccayphoto@mindspring.com

    Dear Lawrence,

    Glad to have found you. Thanks for all the great info.

    I have pleaded my DWI doun to Recless driving and entered a deferal program as part of the plea bargian, not with out pain. The system still has me. As one part of the agreement I have to blow into a divice to start my car, when submitting to this I had no idea that it was not that easy. You blow for 2 seconds followed by a 4 second blow-hum combination if it does not think its you or there was any slight deviation it aborts and try again. At the coctail hour lets say between 5 and 9 pm it is very sensitive and it has taken me up to 15 minutes of as many as 23 attempts to start the car. I am completly sober fulltime. The instrument was comletely missrepresented to me. In addition you must blow periodically will the car is in use. Brand name of device is “Smart Start” though I have my own pet names for it now. I am not trying to beat this device, i.e. drink and drive. I just want to get in my car and drive. I would like to share thoughts with others who may be using the same device.


  • Nelson Donnell

    This is one of the most informative sites that help to expose the twisted logic held by many of those bigots who work in government and those biased people who serve on juries. I refer people to this site whenever possible and it’s waking people up to how government sponsored mind control has been hoodwinking them for decades.

    Keep up the good work.

  • tachyonsign

    Lawrence when are you running for president? :) I’ll vote for you!
    I was convicted of a dui a year ago. I was read miranda 3 times and after every instance was told I did not have the right to an attorney’s council to take a blood test, and if I didn’t the 3 cops standing over me would in so many words beat a blood test out of me. My dmv hearing was an absolute farce, hearsay evidence was used against me, the officer who stopped me lied on the police report too such an extent that I’m not sure I will ever trust another police officer. In short, I was railroaded. I thought I had Constitutional Rights and America was the best place on the earth to live, now I think, hmmm… Maybe I should just become a Canadian. Thomas Jefferson is probably doing cartwheels in his grave over what this country has become.
    What’s your thoughts on California’s/MADD’s SB 177?
    (first dui offense ignition interlock)

  • Grant

    I’ve recently seen to my disgust a TV commercial sponsored by MADD showing the inside of a male prison. The way the prison is depicted is from the view of the prisoner (the convicted drunk driver).At the end of the commercial two rough looking inmates approach the convicted drunk driver and threaten to rape him using forms of physical intimidation. Then the commercial states at the end like all of their other commercials “drunk driving is a crime”.
    I cannot believe that this form of disgusting tyranny is allowed to present itself in this manner to the public. MADD’s bold and arrogant attempt to shovel this kind of crap instilling fear into the public that they’ll be gang raped is completely unacceptable, and should result in the immediate removal of the commercial followed by a punishing lawsuit. Someone’s got to take these fanatical tyrant’s on in the name of decency, and constitutional freedom.

  • rob

    Hello, Lawrence,
    I am interested in your response earlier in this thread.
    Without an established standard, how would you recommend the judicial system go about proving “beyond a reasonable doubt” that someone was impaired.
    The same logic as is described here could be applied to many aspects of life. Take, for example, speed limits. A race car driver is trained to drive at very high speeds; he or she can safely operate a vehicle at such speeds. Should they be permitted to do so?
    I fall more or less in line with your thoughts on reasonable doubt, but I think in some instances we must error on the side of caution. In the case of DUI, I must admit a personal bias. My mother was killed by a drunk driver when I was ten years old; I have never been able to see why someone would engage in such a reckless behavior.

    Thanks in advance for your reply,

  • http://www.drivinganddrinking.org jbrown75n

    In 2004 I was arrested for DUI while I was putting my bicycle on my front porch. I’ve still got my knickers in a bunch over that. The penalties for DUI are so severe, that they go way beyond responding to any additional risk factor created by alcohol. How many more laws need to be passed before it becomes obvious that this is not about public safety, it’s about prohibition, and it’s about setting precedent for things like roadblocks and forced blood draws, that they can use for other things in the future. If only you could get people to look at traffic data in context.

    For example, the NHTSA claims in 2005 we had over 43,000 deaths nationally, and MADD claims over 13,00 are alcohol-related. Two thirds of the fatalities are NOT alcohol-related. But you also need to look at the broader picture including non-crash statistics. The US has a population of 300 million people. The DOT claims that there are over 245 million passenger cars registered in this country. The EPA estimates each vehicle travels about 12,000 miles per year. That’s almost 3 quadrillion miles traveled in this country every year. Just getting in an accident, any accident, represents only the smallest fraction of a percent of the total trips taken every year. Here in Ohio, of that fraction of a percent that result in crashes, 95% of crashes are not alcohol-related. 92% of injury accidents are not alcohol-related. Fatalities represent one half of a percent of total crashes, and two thirds of those are not alcohol-related. Ohio has eleven and a half million people, and out of the 415 alcohol-related deaths, 385 were either the drunk driver or their passenger. Zero killed by bicycle.

  • mjschack

    Dear Lawrence: It’s taken me one DUI with a plea bargain to a careless (thanks to my brilliant but certainly not inexpensive lawyer), to make me understand what the process is really all about. I’m in Minnesota, not exactly California in terms of DUI laws, but certainly on its way. I do not pretend to be completely innocent of the charges brought against me, namely I’m not an arrogant person and am glad to have avoided the brunt of it. Hell, I paid dearly for it. My lawyer, however, reminded me that this would not be a case of morality, certainly something that was used against me in the initial questioning, my “perception of morality”. I was beat down as a relatively ordinary witness against myself by the cops while at the station. The cop sensed a weakness: I had not ever been in a jail in my life. I did feel bad for what I had done, driven when I shouldn’t have. I know this, I agree to it, but the pain certainly didn’t stop there and really, DUI defendants in most cases should rarely plead guilty is what I’ve learned after speaking with the poor souls that actually did plead guilty. It’s simply convoluted. In fact, my worst nightmare was the cops that had arrested me (in my own house might I add), for DUI. They brought me to the station and questioned me, repeatedly despite my 5th amendment invocations. I delayed and avoided questions as long as I could, but did not do an exceptional job of it, even though I’m fairly well-adapted and very eager about legal conversations (the ’soon to be wife’ is a lawyer, so we talk about the law constantly). I also was taken in by the cheerleading of the cops when taking the breathalyzer. I blew nearly 4.7 liters, a real expenditure of breath to say the least and completely encouraged by the police, breath by breath, despite their knowledge of the inaccuracies it would create. My defense attorney immediately said I, “didn’t do myself any favors by doing that.” I think that must have been a preliminary premonition of what was to come.
    Now, essentially after the criminal proceedings, I received the same sentence as a DUI defendant. This was partially my fault for not pushing certain parts of the plea bargain. I did not believe I was getting a bad deal, nor do I today, but sometimes I wish I would have pushed more against the sentence to serve classes. I didn’t, but only received two, so I let it go. They were actually fairly interesting as an observant individual and gave me a perspective I was lacking on life. That’s the best I can justify it as. Thank someone it wasn’t more.

    The alcohol classes were/are a complete joke. I could teach the class (shamefully).

    Anyway, what I’ve learned is that the people who keep quiet and let this ridiculous situation with DUI continue on, are the people who will be most surprised when some “cherished right” they have is taken away. I’m surprised that so many people fail to make the connection between improper DUI procedures and the gradual but screaming erosion of the constitution. I think driving is a right, and surely if the constitutional creators would have known what driving was, it would have been a right, not a privilege.

    I wanted to give my continued vote of support. I read your blog all the time, continue to research DUI offenses despite the fact that I’m nearly beyond the whole process personally, and really believe you’re on the precipice of something monumental. This is the first mass erosion of rights that leads to other fundamental rights being eroded, and hardly anyone will notice until it’s too late. What a shame.

  • Finn

    Dear Atty Taylor –

    I am relieved to find your web site; not as a DUI defendant but as a fellow advocate of common sense and constitutional rights. (My allusion her to Thomas Paine’s “Common Sense” is intentional.)

    I have struggled for decades now to oppose the media’s promotion, and the public’s acceptance, of hysterical hyperbole about DUI laws.

    May I ask you to comment on my perception of the issue? It follows here.

    *Until the 80’s (or thereabouts; it may have been the mid to late 70’s), the legal charge in “DWI” cases actually _was_ “driving while intoxicated”.

    *”Intoxicated” is just a fancy word for “drunk”. Of the states whose statutes I have consulted, the legal definition of “intoxicated” is entirely in terms of behavior, and doesn’t even mention blood alcohol content (BAC). Thus, the commonly accepted notion that having a BAC of .08 or more (these days) constitutes being “legally drunk”, even for a pedestrian or car passenger, is false.

    *The word “drunk”, although it isn’t polysyllabic and technical-sounding, still has a fairly precise meaning in the English language: rendered incompetent of normal behavior by alcohol . Novice drinkers may be drunk after a couple of drinks. Confirmed drinkers may not be drunk after 10 drinks or more.

    *Until the 80’s, a prosecutor hoping to convict a DWI defendant had to prove “intoxication”; i.e., that the defendant was drunk. This was often difficult, since some defendants who reeked of alcohol, for instance, proved capable of passing such sobriety tests as walking a straight line.

    *In the 80’s states began changing the legal offense from DWI to DUI, setting some arbitrary BAC level as legally constituting being “under the influence of alcohol”. I have no objections to this; I am arguably “under the influence” of alcohol if I have any alcohol whatever in my blood. And I grant to the State the right to impose sanctions on driving with a BAC above any arbitrary level, just as I grant the right to impose sanctions on driving while talking on a cell phone, no matter how briefly.

    *I think it is arguable that any amount of alcohol may, for instance, slow down reaction time, and thus impair driving. I am well aware that there have been studies showing that regular drinkers’ reaction times may actually improve after a drink or two, but I still grant the State the right to impose _reasonable_ fines for driving with a BAC above any arbitrarily set level.

    *What I do object to is that this relatively recent charge of driving under the influence should carry the same severe penalties – irrespective of evidence to the contrary – as drunkenly careening down the road.

    *I also object the whole “implied consent” notion that if an officer thinks I may have been drinking, she can compel me to submit to an unwarranted search of my body fluids or else be convicted of an offense with severe penalties

    *I object to the hysterical hyperbole, which the media persist in fostering, that DUI is “drunk driving”.

    *As for “random checkpoints” or whatever the term is, in which officers can insist with no probable cause that a driver submit to a BAC test – well; don’t even get me started ranting and raving about that.

    I know this is a long message, and hope you can post a reply on your site to a summarized version.

    I also hope you may be willing to include in your site discussion of the increasingly unconstitutional underage drinking laws, another windmill against which I tilt.

    John Finn
    Laure,l Maryland

  • nocheckpoints

    Dear Lawrence,

    I’d like to discuss my site with you and your readers. It’s called nocheckpoints.com and we try to provide checkpoint locations via text message when this information becomes available to us. The site is only as successful as its users want it to be…meaning, we rely on everyone to do their part and report checkpoint locations to us when they see them. I’m not condoning drinking and driving, but, I feel that checkpoints are illegal and we need to fight for our rights. How much longer until the government starts encroaching on other liberties?

  • diane

    i was talked into taking a plea when there was no evidence of dui i have a breathing problem which i stated to the officer still got a refusal. i couldn’t make it work. there is no video.

    i don’t think i can do the one to they want to put on my car.

    thanks larry for letting me know hard it is. my lawyer says show them i can’t do it than go to dr and get letter.

    i have to be in a supervision program which i have to give an aa sponser’s name that is violation of the program. so it writing about what i talk to a therapist about. that is confidental.

    i went to treatment on my own before i went to court counseling before and after that. i don’t see why i have to more go to three aa meetings a week write what i leaned, etc.

    i had early termination from probation as well. it was granted by the judge. does not that say that i am staying out of trouble.

    i am a woman alone and feel scared everytime i have to go thr program. the nieghborhood is not safe.

    i also have verification about my referral work. i help addicts and others needing help.

    will i ever be able to go on with my life!?

    i have spent 6 months dealing with a program thst is imcompetent they scewed up many times. i finally got my license reinstatement.

    next is the car breathalizer issue.


  • matyellott

    Lawrence, what can we do to fight what has been imposed on the citizens of the United States by the government when it comes to DUIs? How do we change the laws in an organized way? I took and oath as an officer in the United Sates Marine Corps to defend the constitution of the United States, now I feel that the government is the one we need to defend it from.


    DUI’S have became nothing more then a states cash cow. It has nothing to do with drinking or driving anymore its all about the money. I personally have 2 dui’s that have destroyed my life to say the least, took anything and everything I once had, was I wrong? sure I was both times, I made the wrong choice to drive 3 blocks from my house after a few drinks after work with friends, did I kill anyone? No, did I get into an accident ? No, did I get the same punishment as if I had killed someone or got into an accident , I would say so. Maybe they didn’t make me serve 5 yrs in prison but they made me serve a life sentence on the outside. Background checks for employment after a dui or two ect you’re immediately labeled an alcoholic and passed aside. DMV takes your freedom to be mobile and a means to survive in todays world. I could go on and on but my point is the punishment should fit the crime, not punish you by what if’s ‘what if you killed someone’ . The American People have gotten comfortable with their hidden lives and let Lawmakers and MADD turn a once Free Nation into a State of Confused people without the backbone to stand up and fight to make a change.
    Soon at this rate of arrests made in usa there will be more dui voters then average people and then maybe will see a Mothers Against Drunk Drivers in our local pubs having a pop or two.

  • carlspackler

    What cracks me up is the NTHSA adds into the statistics those who have one drink with dinner and have a BAC of .01 and above into the national statistics, which adds 5-10% to the alcohol related stats they report.

    So, if I have one glass of wine with dinner, leave the restaurant, and get rear ended at a traffic light, I count as being in an alcohol related crash, whether I am over the so-called limit or not.

    There is no doubt the MADD’s of the world have infiltrated the Government thru PAC’s, and this crime is no doubt a cash cow for cities all across America. It’s all about the income they can generate from someone. Even if not at fault, you are screwed.

    I do know some people over indulge and they should pay for it if they cause an accident like the guy in Ohio the other day who killed 5 driving down the freeway the wrong way.

    I should not be subject to the same penalty if I have a couple galsses of wine with dinner and go home. I am not nearly as screwed up as that person, yet subject to the same penalties, whether at fault of not. If I am stopped at a light, and the car rear-ends me and that guy dies, I suffer the same fate as the guy in Ohio.

    This drunk driving thing is nothing more than the Salem witch hunt, with all of our society in the crosshairs, to make more money for the cities across this nation.

  • tammyleeg@comcast.net



    Thank you so much for creating this site. Well said. Keep it up!!!

  • zorado

    My son had a jury trial for a DUI. The judge did not allow his Dr’s statement regarding his treatment for over 7 years for acid reflux. We had another Dr testify to the accuracy of breathalyzers. The jury deliberated for several hours and just before time to go home found him guilty. The judge reminded the jury that they do not have to agree with the law just uphold law. Sounds just like good little Nazi’s. When we take away the Rights of others we as a nation suffer a loss. By the way he was just sitting in the drivers seat with the car running while smoking a cigarette as his friends had gone to a party on 12/28/05. The car wasn’t even his. I forgot to mention the friends had brought liquor that was in the car.Therefore he also got charged for transporting alcohol.

  • zorado

    I wrote comment 21. Well my son was sentenced on 04/18/08.He will spend 10 days in jail for not driving drunk. I guess he should have been OJ to get a fair trial. He has acid reflux but that did not matter. A Dr Henson testified to the accuracy of the breathalyzer. He blew a .12. After jail time he will have to attend 85 hours of alcohol classes and 2 years probation where he will blow once a week. No license for several years. Can’t even be around a bar. What really gets me is that he drinks more milk than beer or other alcoholic beverages. This incident happened in 12/05. He has not been in trouble since (what I mean he has not sit in a car with keys after having a couple of drinks) This sounds so much like communist Russia or Nazi Germany. What a gemmick we have here in Illinois. The breathalyzer companies make big bucks selling ineffective machines, the communities keep the DUI bucks rolling in and the politicians grandstand by stating we need stricker laws for DUI’s, the judges are employed the lawyers laugh all the way to the bank and the leaches bank rup and ruin lives with inappropriate penalties and indifferent attitudes. The state of Illinois wants to keep those so called drunk sitters and sleepers off the road even if they are not drunk, they just intended to drive and blew over .08. But Illinois does not want to take guns away because they make money on guns during hunting season. Forget the drive bys or school killings. This is what America wants their guns as said on the news.

    What kind of logic is this. Or are we just sitting by while we hear propaganda letting our constitutional rights be diminished and the government rip us off with their so call new laws.

  • noe villegas

    Dear Mr. Taylor, On Saturday January 5th, 2008 my girlfriend was driving my car when on an on ramp near rt. 41 the car’s rear wheels slipped and she went into the enbankment. She subsequently tried to rock it out but the ground being muddy could not get it out. A couple of male good samaritan’s drove by tried to help but to no avail. She then called our tow service. She was informed it would take an hour for a tow truck driver to arrive. Then a couple offered help and a ride. She took the ride. She came home explained it to me and said she wanted to get out of the elements and being 11:00 P.M. she felt better at home. So we waited for a call from our tow service. Her cell phone rang and the person on the line requested to my whereabouts and demanded that I come to the vehicle because it was about to get towed. My girlfriend stated that I was drinking and that it would be difficult for me to go there because she would have to drive and we have three kids. And being 12:00 P.M. we did not want to wake up the kids so she said that she’ll go. The phone rang again with the same request: That I the owner of the vehicle come to the vehicle’s location. We began arguing-the person on the line overheard us arguing. Finally in desperation we decided to go as a family-we woke up the kids,proceeded to leave through our attached garage. When the phone rang againg by this time my girlfriend and I were furious. She stated to the person to stop calling that she’s attempting to leave with the kids and that I’m in the house getting her phone charger because it was about to die. Now I being in the house by our front closet looking for my jacket and in an obvious rush to head out the door stumble and fall to the ground. I get up and in my foyer are three police men! They begin to interrogate me. They ask if I happen to know where my car was. I said yes stuck in mud. That we had called our tow. The officer said he impounded the car for investigation. To which I said what is there to investigate? It’s stuck in mud. No accident. Not in any way obstructing. And what do I have to do to get my car back? They said I have to pay a city impoundment fee of 500.00 plus tow costs. I became irate and told them that I had a tow service, get out of my house they came in through my garage and entered through our back door with out permisssion! I then walked away to call 911 and report them. They followed me to my kitchen I dialed 911 and which point I felt an officer’s hand slam the phone down and said I’m not calling anybody! I then was arrested and taken to the station and asked to blow into a breathylzer! I refused. I believed it wasn’t fair. Since I drank at home! I was charged for d.u.i.,resisting arrest,(walking away to call 911 is resisting!) and driving to fast for conditions. My girlfriend and I were able to get the dispatch c.a.d. reports and found out that it was police dispatch that we had been talking to all along that night! And when they heard that I was drinking they wanted me at the scene along with my car! Also since the car was in a different city than my residence that police dept. overhearing us argue put it upon themselves to call in a domestic and reported this to my city’s dispatch to gain assistance to apprehend me so that they can bring me back to the scene of the vehicle. All without ever first even talking to me. Upon my release my girlfriend and I tried to make a complaint against the officer,get the number to O.P.S., state’s attorney. And guess who was in charge? The arresting officer was a Lt.! He prevented us from making a complaint and from retrieving the police report. We appealed to the mayor. But did not receive a response. So we got a lawyer and in the report the officer said that my girlfriend said I drove! But out of the four other officer’s present only he heard her say that! At my summary suspension hearing the judge accepted the officer’s testimony. Basically hearsay. “His girlfriend said he drove.” Can you believe this? Please if you can direct me to someone like yourself that you may know here in Gurnee, Illinois. Thanks and I admire your stand in defending our civil rights. You are a person too few and far between. Keep up the good work! Noe V.

  • zorado

    This sound like obstruction of justice. The police seem empowered to do anything they want. We need protection from our authorities.

    You must get a good lawyer, one of the best. If you don’t the judge will not allow your evidence of innocence in court it will be called hear say. Choose a lawyer in Waukegan or lake county that has been dealing with the judges, because I heard the states prosecutor say she deals with a certain judge all the time and she is not worry about getting her conviction.

    What I don’t understand is why did your wife state you were drinking and you had been driving?

  • zorado

    OH I forgot to say that maybe the Lt. will get a kick back from MAD.

  • Jerseymatt

    Hello all. As is customary for a person in my position, I found this very informative after getting my very own (for the first and last time) DUI. I live in Pittsburgh. I agree with all views posted. I’m only 24 and I have a bad feeling that my personal rights are no longer completely accessible to me as stated in the constitution. I don’t know where to turn to or how to begin remedying the infringements on my freedom. As stated previously, I got a DUI last night. I didn’t know my rights, I didn’t what was allowed and not allowed (blood tests, etc.), MY RIGHTS WERE NEVER GIVEN TO ME, and they used an older breathalyzer. Luckily my license was not taken from me….yet. I started researching, found this great site, and am now asking for any advice that you are willing to give. Friends of mine have had this problem before, and they suggested just going with the public defender. I’m not looking to come out this situation scott free; I know what I was doing. I also know that I was completely capable of driving at the time…tolerance. I need help from professionals who care and are aware of the nuances that a layman such as me am ignorant of. I only wish I had read postings on this site and others before so that my situation could be a little less ordinary/cookie cutter ie. he’s guilty and thats it. But I didn’t. Any help is appreciated. None is understandable. Just keep fighting for our rights. Matt

  • jtburge27

    This is my story (my case was handled wrong, i am building a political site that references proper defense and high profile DUI defense lawyers. I feel I was not guilty
    I know a lot of you guys have either a DWI, DUI, or a minor felony. I also know that most of you are good people and just happened to make a mistake. I am building a non profit online organization for rehabilitated good citizens that made a mistake in the past. Im not talking about murderers. For instance I made a mistake 5 years ago by driving after 2 draft beers, I was fine I thought but I blew at the lowest level, I swear there must have been something wrong bc I passed the field test. Otherwise i am a model citizen who has helped refugees, counseled at risk freshman and graduated magna cum laude, however i cant get my professional counseling license bc of this. I am making a site, and I want all of you have been convicted of a crime, but have no other convictions and are basically good people to participate. This is my view on the subject. i want your views, and this site will also help you get jobs in the future because im going all out, I am mad at MADD for basically categorizing 1 time sometimes innocent dui convictions or other minor felonies into the same categories as those people who deserve to be shafted bc they didnt learn a lesson and have 5 DUI’s! or people who commit murder. I am going to fight the system and advocate for all of you politically. They basically took my life and dream job away for something I should have been pardoned for.

  • zorado

    Great I think that a web site will be a good thing. It is about time to answer MADD’S conflict of interest kick backs to police and prosecutors. This needs to come to a halt. It causes abuse of the legal system. MADD has debastated some people lives under the guise of saving lives. Everyone should wright to their Attorney General office about MADDS abuse of donations monies used as kick backs. Each prosecutor and policeman should be investigated to see if they received kick backs and how many DUI convictions.

  • zorado

    I also felt like my lawyer did not handle our case properly it was like he was trying to be friends with the prosecutor.

  • gettingshafted

    wow, what an informative site… heres my story.
    I was a bad boy 8 years ago. paid thousands and thousands of dollars, spent 2 weeks away at drunk school, instead of jail. didnt drive for 2 years…..
    live in rhode island, got caught in mass just after i moved but not changed my liscense over yet. so i lost my LISCENSE.
    anyway, after it was all done and i paid my dues, got my liscense in RI and my rights restored in Mass. so now its 2008, and a cop was fishing in town, running plates, and pulled me over, telling me my liscense had been permanantly revoked… which completely shocked me. apparently, when MASS wanted to give me back my liscense, i was a rhode island reesident, so could not get a liscense, so they said to pay the fees, and my RIGHTS were reinstated. all fine and dandy… well, aparantly, because I didnt take the tests, it was then considered non-compliance, and my rights were revoked. so now as I wait for my DMV appeal, and my court case for DRIVING ON A REVOKED LISCENSE… which they never told me was revoked in the first place, i had to get an ignition interlock device…… i am now married with children, i dont go to bars, i go to playgrounds and ball games, i dont go to clubs, i go to childrens museams. get the picture. most all the lawyers i talked to said i will loose my appeal, beacuase the political pressure due to MELANIES law. so it looks like i will have to blow into this thing for 2 years because of a tecnical glitch 8 years ago !!!!!! at a overall cost of approx $2500 over the 2 years.
    so i have a question, if ANYONE can answer it, can I drive in another state, OTHER than mass, in a car not equipped with an IID. i have researched endlessly and gotten different answers from different lawyers. my rhode island liscense has not been affected, only my MASS RIGHTS, as defined by MELANIES law.
    quite the connundrum, and a miscarrieage of justice.

  • jtburge27

    MADD is abusing their power like zorado says, I will not mention names, but my father was the ceo of a lucrative company, the president of or county/states chapter of madd tried to take over my dads job, he fired my dad but was later found to be having sexual relations with 4 employees and wrongfully fired my dad and said he was trying to help me when he actually gave me a bad attorney, he is now hiding under a rock and his wife wants to leave him, madd is not the good or light from heaven as they are played out to be, its time to fight back bc that DUI was ruining my life, but you know what? I went under politically with a smile on my face and am now hired as a professional councelor which means if I can do that, I think i can fight madd, we all need to. They act like good people but I find many are criminals themselves

  • tkorbitz

    Why are you people defending criminals who put everyone at risk? Driving under the influence is dangerous and an accident could happen at any time. Stop making excuses for yourselves and live with the fact that you made a dangerous mistake. These mistakes have consequences!

  • elf

    i have gone through more than the usual punishment for dui.
    my ex lawyer didn’t help with the process to get my license back.
    i had many screw ups getting into the supervision program.
    just getting there is tough its 25 miles way no bus here.
    i am not a felon but i am treated as one.

    why do i need to do yrs of dmv supervision, when i completed probation with early release.

    due to the fact i have an indented chest bone i could not do the interlock device. even made easier after dr letter still could not.

    some one has to take me to supervision, they want me to go meetings i can’t till i get a license.

    the meetings close to me are at night can’t bike at night here.

    i went to treatment 21/2 yrs ago which is accepted by the courts, but the dmv.

    my therapist and a specialist in asperger’s ( which i have) have written letters explaining my issues with inteaction and my anxiety when stressed.
    they have been ignored.

    the dmv has become a semi police agency.
    the cops, madd, and insurance companies are all working together.

    why is there such little acceptance for treatment?

    i feel four yrs of dmv supervision is rediclous. why not put more effort into prevention and keeps kids of drugs.

    i didn’t cause an accident or damage to anything.

    rapist and murderes have it easier.

    if alcoholism is considered a disease, than why can’t treatment be an option?
    and i went to treatment that should show i wanted help. i went before i even went to court. someone from the treatment center represented me in court.

    the head of madd got a dui a few yrs ago and had to quit, and i read members of madd admit to social drinking.

    i feel if i have done my punishment i should be able to go on with my life without a dui hanting me for ever!

    i know people with several dui’s hasn’t stopped them from drinking.

    if someone seeks help , than i feel this should not haunt them forever.

    time for our side to stand up madd has been to powerful!

  • mab59

    Comments in Support of Comments 27 & 32:

    I admit to being the father of the author of Comments 27 and 32. I also am thankful, this site exists.

    Over the past few years, I have had the opportunity, unfortunately by necessity, to have gained a good deal of generalized knowledge about DUI laws in the great state of North Carolina. It seems each of our states feels a need to compete to have the toughest laws. I have also become more knowledgeable, through direct input, of the organization with the acronym “MADD” (Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

    First and foremost, it is imperative for all of us to realize that MADD is exactly that – MAD! In one sense, many of their members and supporters are “MAD” because they have lost the life of a loved one, or have either themselves or a loved one been seriously injured in an alcohol related traffic accident. Who can blame them? I feel the same way when I think of the wonderful young woman who used to work for me who never made it home from work one night. Her neighbor was driving drunk and killed her. It wasn’t his first, or even second offense! In the second sense, some of them are “mad” because they have discovered their own power base and become a ruthless political force for whom the ends justifies the means, and have lost their perspective of balance between the punishment and offense (notice I did not say “crime”). They seem to have become “drunk” with the power the emotion of their cause and funding base gives them.

    We must all understand what MADD was, is, and is becoming. MADD was started by grieving people dealing with the loss of a loved one and wanting to do something to prevent others from having to go through the same. This group has now transitioned into a huge and powerful political action committee with tremendous influence over state and Federal legislators, district attorneys, prosecutors, and judges. They get great media attention whenever there is a tragedy involving alcohol related traffic accidents. MADD is no longer run by mothers, but experienced, professional, talented people who are well funded and use these funds to pay for political lobbyists, influence peddling, horse trading, etc. i.e. our political process. Always remember MADD is all of the above. Their agenda is now as much about punishment as prevention.

    In my son’s comment 32, references were made to one of the most traumatizing experiences I have ever had in over 30 years as a senior business executive. The violation of my trust, deception, and betrayal by someone whom I turned to for help and guidance as “friend” when my son was trapped in a DUI checkpoint, cuffed, and slammed across the hood of his car. This MADD individual was a member of my Board of Directors of a non-profit company with a very noble cause. I later naively helped him get elected Chairman! He graciously offered his assistance, referring us to an attorney, a close associate of his, who did not specialize in DUI defense. We were advised that, since this was a first offense and my son’s record was otherwise spotless, the best approach was to accept the charges, plead guilty, and portray ourselves as the fine upstanding citizens we were. The attorney was a very nice individual, but definitely not in his element. He did not make us aware of a first time offender program which would have pleaded the case down below a DUI. After $500 in attorneys fees, another $500 in fines, court costs, etc. my son received the exact same standard sentence he would have received with no representation: one year suspended license, community service, and 3 years probation upon reinstatement of his license.

    Did I say community service? The community service turned out to be for my son to serve as personal chauffer for this MADD individual whose personal disability rendered him unable to drive. The chauffer duties included driving him to traffic court and waiting for hours while he monitored judges rulings on DUI cases, plea bargains, etc. then driving him home or wherever else he wanted to go.

    As I mentioned, this individual was a member of MADD, he was also the founder of the local city chapter. During our friendly lunches and conversations, he would regale me with war stories about how he single handedly brought down the “good old boy” network of defense attorneys, prosecutors, and judges who were being too lenient on DUI cases. He told me stories of how he threatened District Attorneys up for reelection to use the MADD political base to oppose their reelection bids. He gave one account of an occasion where he followed a judge into his chambers following session to chastise his leniency on a DUI case. When the judge threatened to have him jailed for contempt of court, he defiantly dared the judge to do it, saying what great press it would make, particularly given his obvious disability. He also threatened this judge with the opposition of the MADD voting block on his reelection bid. The judge later lost his reelection bid, maybe because of MADD, maybe not.

    I am sharing these incidents so that you will understand what is going on behind the scenes on a political basis. Our legal system is under attack in this arena, and the special interest group, MADD, will continue to pressure, bully, and threaten our elected officials to get their way.

    You can only imagine how I feel now, in retrospect, as a father, having unwittingly thrown my sun to the wolf in sheep’s clothing. This DUI is likely to plague him for the rest of his life. Something needs to be done to stop this runaway train of hysteria, over reaction, and undue influence. It starts with us all knowing the real threat, our rights, and protections, and how to get them.

    That is just the start, however. First, don’t put yourself in the situation if you can help it. If you are not a celebrity, or independently wealthy, you will have a difficult time getting another job. Many famous people have DUI’s, DWI’s or charges swept under the rug e.g., Ted Kennedy, President Bush, Laura Bush, and I just learned yesterday, Michael Phelps Olympic champion swimmer. Fortunately, these people will never have to fill out an employment application and check “yes” in the box next to the question “Have you ever been convicted of a DUI?” This is likely to send your application sailing into the waste basket.

    To me, the real underlying issue here is the hypocrisy within our society. Prohibition did not work. Our city officials proudly proclaim the revitalization of downtown from the addition of trendy nightclubs, restaurants, and watering holes, and every major sporting event is sponsored by at least two beer companies and a rum maker. We are encouraged to go out and celebrate and have a good time. All the time, just around the corner is a DUI checkpoint waiting to give you a breathalyzer test and violate your rights. This Bud’s for you, but don’t expect the president of Budweiser to come down and bail you out of jail!

    Mr. Taylor, this letter may be way too long for you to publish, but I hope you do. I thank you for the opportunity to speak up on this issue. The hidden victims need a voice too!

    Best Regards,

    Father of jtburge27

  • elf

    i have commented before. the reason i am now, is do to the continuous issue i am dealing cause because i have an indented chest bone. evn after dr letter and it made easier, i still could. i don’t have good breathing capacity. i was born with this condition.

    i have to go back to the dr and get another letter than it goes back to the medical review board.
    i am punished for a condition i was born with.

    i am also doing dmv supervision for a license i don’t have and have been for months.

    its 25 miles away ( no bus) so someone has to take to me.

    if a dr verifies my condition i should nor have to go back get a letter and my lawyer again send it to some medical review board.

    ome on my charge was three yrs ago, a murder od rapist would have gone through less.

    i guess i ;ll be biking in the fl heat with a breathing problem , while the members of madd get rich and drive in cars with a/c.

    i guess i don’t have a right to a life!

  • ruReadyMyFriend

    What a great site. I’m hooked and in need.

  • investigatorsmith

    Mr. Lawrence,

    I currently conduct field investigations for a prominent DUI attorney in Mississippi. What is your feeling on how effective investigations are in the outcome of the verdict? Sometimes I need a different point of view. Thanks in advance,


  • Drew

    Wow, great information. I was recently involved in an accident in California with a police man, where I was arrested for a DUI. First, thankfully both of us walked away without injury. I have questions though. When I was in accident I was hit in my driver side door, where I hit my head against the side of the car and was knocked out. I them came to where I talked to my sister for 20 minutes without any emergeny personal talking to me. I then was asked to take a feild sobriety test, which I just got in accident and was in shock and a concusion. When Asked ot stand on one leg I said my knee and chest were hurting, but to no prevail. My memory is real fuzzy during that time, but what also struck me odd was that the office I was in an accident with, his OWN police station took the report. By the wayI blew a 0.083, which is 0.003 over the limit in CAlifornia. Any sugesstions or ideas??

  • Drew

    I forgot to mention that not at any time was I looked at by emergency personal. I did take a blood test, but has not came back yet. I really feel like the police didnt take the right protocol especially with me being in an accident knocked out and being really fuzzy during the sobriety test. I would deeply appreciate anything you can give me..

  • matyellott

    Profiling AFTER a DWAI
    All, I have become aware of some intersting things thta happen long after a DUI/DWAI. I live in Castle Rock CO (google Castle Rock PD, and Jessica Gonazals if you want to be shocked) I was pulled over for a DWAI a few years ago, since then I have been pulled over by the same cop several times (I drive a very distint car) once for going 47 in a 45, once for changing lanes without having my blinker on for at least 2 seconds (this is a law apperantly), and for accelarating too quickly. I have spoken to a few other people who are in the same boat I am. Each time any of us are pulled over the cop is literally “fishing” for a dui, repetedly asking where we have been and what we have been doing. I feel like I have no rights and no recourse, I want to fight back. I was with a friend of mine who was stone sober and was forced to get out of his car in 5 degree weather and take his jacket off while doing roadisde tests. I cannot believe what we have come to, I love this nation but this has gone too far.

  • elf

    in repsonse to the post feb 2, 09
    same here in jupiter florida every traffic stop is a potient dui.
    i am 5′2 3 cops surrounded me, i went a couple 100 feet to my house cause of panic. i live in agated commumity. i was charged with fleeing. they came through my devolpment in a high speed chase.
    i was standing out of the car, gave the cop my inofrmation and soon after was surrounded.

    do fight with all your might, even talk to several lawyers or public defenders don’t just take a plea. look for loop holes. i got talked into taking a plea and now have to do 3 yrs bs dmv supervision.
    my email is elfin1@comcast.net
    feel free to9 email me if you need some help


  • elf

    i talked to my lawyer today the dmv refused the letter i was told to get after i could not do car breathalyzer, even made easier i have an indented chest bone ( from birth).
    my lwayer is putting to gather a law suit against the dmv. i went through this crap for over a yr, than was told the letter was unacceptable.
    i have done dmv supervision over a yr for a license i don’t have, i am accepted to go to a 12 step meeting a week. can’t bike at night here.
    i am standing up and fighting enough is enough!

  • elf

    i am from palm beach county, fl and saw the paper article about the blood draws.
    there seems to no provision in law for people such as myself who physically can’t do a breathalyzer.
    the dmv medical review board has now provision for it either. i for a second opinion their there request, it was rejected. my lawyer appealing.
    i have serached and found out medical review board memberd are drs, d o. s , chiros, etc. not one is a lung dr.
    it was hard to find much information about the board, or its members.
    i feel its discrimination based on physical disablity.
    i am going to looking into that.

    we need to get madder than madd and stand up for rights.
    the dmv has become a para police agency.

    the police have gone over board suspecting every traffic stop as dui.
    in smallers towns like whwew i am jupiter, fl its all about revenue. also cops wanting to make a name for themselves.
    come on i am 5′2 three cops surronding me, making my panic disorder go off so i went a few 100 ft to my house. than more cops showed up high speed chase through a gated community.

    3 1/2 yrs later i go through harassment monthly at supervision cause i don’t have my license back. they know why lawyer sent a letter.
    last month they contact the medical review board with out my constant. wanted my drs name i said no contact my lawyer. woman wrote down i said that made a nasty commenton her report.
    my lawyer was advised.
    i done everything , no violzations, early term of probation. went to treatment on my own before court.
    have letters stating the status of my life is stable and i want to move on.
    at the time of arrest my fiance was dieing of liver failure. i was his care giver.
    we all need to stand up and sat enough write out legislators, contact the media, etc.

    i am going too


  • Bodette


    Thank you for your valuable site!

    I wish to bring your attention to something extraordinarily dangerous:
    Here in Colorado, the Colorado State Patrol routinely arrests motorists who are prescribed medication by their physicians–even if they have not taken their medication that day!

    Many physicians tell their patients to lie, if they are involved in a traffic stop.

    I was pulled over just after midnight on Friday, February thirteenth, just after midnight. A holiday weekend. I was returning from Fedex/Kinkos. It was snowing, and there were almost no vehicles on the road.

    I was pulled over for “weaving” which is impossible to do if, driving on fresh snow, one cannot discern the precise lane markings. I was ordered to perform the three roadside tests, despite a severely sprained ankle.

    The first was nystagmus. ” I asked the trooper, “Sir, please stop jerking the pen.” This angered him. I then said, “Sir, please stop shining your flashlight in my right eye. This will affect my binocular vision, and therefore, my balance.” He said, “I have to see your pupils.” Pupils dilate in response to fear–and I was terrified, and in pain.

    Despite the pain, snow, and the trooper’s refusal to adequately explain or demonstrate the balance tests, I performed them perfectly.

    The trooper asked if I had any medical conditions. I listed them: ADD, PTSD, the ankle, a kidney infection, severe myopia, lasik surgery, a fractured orbital and head trauma from a 2005 assault, asthma, and COPD.

    He asked “Do you take any prescription medication?” I listed them: “Adderall for ADD, diazepam for insomnia and panic attacks, and an inhaler.”

    He made me blow in the tube three times. After each, he yelled “You’re not doing it right! You’re playing games!” Perhaps because I was blowing zero.

    His abuse made me have a panic attack. The ambulance came, and the paramedics checked my vital signs and helped me calm down.

    Then, the trooper cuffed me and took me to jail!

    He said they were going to take samples of my blood and urine.

    I was dazed and dehydrated. At the jail, I begged for some water. “Not til after you give us your blood and urine.”

    I was traumatized and confused. I asked to read the statute, call my attorney, my boyfriend, or at least speak with the supervisor. “You can’t! It was on your driver’s license test! Ignorance of the law is no excuse! I’m putting you down as a refusal, and you’re going to lose your license for a year!”

    Then the nurse gave me two cups of Gatorade. I instantly felt much better. “Are you going to take my blood now?” “Too late! You refused!”

    I never refused. I cooperated, to the extent of walking on an ankle the size of a volleyball.

    At no point did the trooper ask what medication, if any, I had taken that day. The answer would have been “Ibuprofin and nicotine lozenges.”

    If I had been under the influence of any sedative, it would have been physically impossible to have a panic attack. The trooper’s abuse CAUSED the panic attack. I asked questions, and was not only denied answers, I was kept in jail overnight and they took my license.

    My boyfriend, whose vehicle I was following, witnessed the whole thing. If I had been unable to safely drive, he would have just driven me to our home.

    On the citation, the trooper checked “No odor of alcohol” and “Balance–normal.”

    Eyes, of course, were “bloodshot and glassy.”

    Now I have to retain an attorney, and I am guilty only of driving late at night, on a holiday weekend, and suffering from several disabilities.

    Amazing, isn’t it?

  • elf

    bodette fight fight if i did i wouldn’t be in dmv supervision and getting harassed by the woman because of my asperger’s syndrome.

    i also was caused a panic attack by cops after 3 surrounded me. i am only 5′2 i do have panic disorder.

    i won my appeal by my lawyer for rejection of dr letters by medical review board. they waved the car breathalyzer.

    the cops, dmv suervision etc needs to be held responsible for
    abuse of those with disabilites.
    i know i am going to see what can be done, i can’t take this woman’s abuse for another two yrs. she knows why i didn’t have my license back my lawyer wrote a letter explaining what is being done.
    they still denied me a reduction in apts that i am supposed to have now.


  • jennifer

    I got a dui and have every thing done probation cost and fines, dui school all is done. I am on medication for depression and copd. can a judge remove a interlock device he ordered. I have breath test and dr.’s letter and results that I only have 27% use of my lungs. they took blood test in hospital I guess and was over .15