Daily Archives: January 15, 2009

Presumed Guilt Continues in DUI Cases

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".

Justice vs Profits….revisited

In my last post, I indicated that the Arizona Judge reversed her earlier ruling that the manufacturer of the breath machine used in that state, CMI, Inc., had to turn over the software for inspection by the defense.  The reversal was based upon the fact that CMI was headquartered in Kentucky, and since they did not do business in Arizona, they were not subject to the Arizona courts’ jurisdiction.

Tucson, AZ.  Jan. 12 — A Pima County Superior Court judge who ordered a Kentucky firm to divulge the software code of its alcohol breath-test machine has rescinded her order, saying she doesn’t have jurisdiction to rule.

Judge Deborah Bernini said in a ruling issued Monday that CMI Inc. of Owensboro, Ky., isn’t authorized to do business in Arizona.

Therefore, her orders in a local case don’t extend beyond the state’s borders.

Shortly thereafter, I received an email from a reader pointing out the obvious…

If part of her reasoning to rescind her previous order is based on this statement, how is it that they are allowed to sell the machines to the State in the first place? How can that not be be considered doing business regardless of where their manufacturing facility is. They send a product to an Arizona entity, who in turn sends them a check. Thats doing business… This just doesn’t make sense to me (actually I shouldn’t be surprised because most of the rulings in the DUI realm defy all logic anyway).

(Thanks to David Baker.)