WTSP reports on the ongoing problems with Tampa police and their improper DUI arrests. Six months now after the problems came to light and no officer has been disciplined yet.
Chief Jane Castor is taking heat. She claims she is setting up a task force to review the incidents but offers little explanation for the delay.
WIVB reports that the campaign director for Bert Dunn for Sheriff was arrested for DWI. Jim Costello allegedly crashed at 3 am. Dunn is cited in the article as saying Costello will remain on the campaign.
Okay, it’s not spectacular but it’s a little funny:
A judge in the San Antonio area has announced he’s rejecting the “horizontal gaze nystagmus” test. Police use HGN following training from the federal NHTSA.
We have seen courts in other states question HGN and other sobriety tests. Fair DUI believes they are based on junk science. I personally have cross examined many officers. Few conduct the tests in a manner consistent with the training.
Nystagmus tests are preposterous. I’ve talked to doctors, including an ophthalmologist, who laugh at the idea of an officer with a few hours of training doing an eye exam.
Read more in the Express News.
Florida’s Fourth Circuit Court in Duval County delivered a striking ruling yesterday, strongly criticizing a FHSMV hearing officer.
Mr. Detlefsen was accused of a DUI and of refusing a breath test. At a hearing regarding revoking the driver’s license, the hearing officer wrote in his decision that he found the driver had a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher. Such a ruling is nonsense in a refusal case.
The agency protested that it was merely a “typographical error.” Circuit Judge Lawrence Haddock didn’t buy that theory, stating:
The conduct of the Hearing Officer in this case erodes confidence in the system, and enables petitioners to argue, as the Petitioner in this case understandably did, that “those Hearing Officers are not impartial. Their minds are made up before the hearing, and indeed, an order affirming the suspension is already drawn. They just substitute the names and numbers of the current petitioner.”
Fair DUI opposes suspending or revoking licenses until the accused has been proven guilty. DMV hearings such as these lack the appropriate level of due process required by the Constitution. The license punishment tends to force innocent people to plead guilty in order to get back the ability to drive.
Kudos to defense attorney Cheyenne Palmer for fighting the good fight. Read the decision via the link below (pdf).
Detlefsen v. DHSMV
Canada’s Global News reports on a member of Parliament who is actually challenging MADD and the obsession with breath testing.
M.P. Peter Goldring of Edmonton had been arrested himself back in 2011 and won his case last month. He raises a number of concerns, including this about MADD:
Goldring also takes aim at MADD; saying the group is sending mixed messages to drivers.
“The public was confused and the public was not sure…For example, even MADD – MADD, on one hand says ‘don’t drink and drive,’ but on the other hand, they say on their website, ‘go ahead, you can have a drink or two and be ok.’ Well, you’re not going to be okay if the testing isn’t done right.”
It would be nice if some US politicians came out and stood up for their constituents against the MADD steamroller. Goldring is showing you can do that and the public might well be with you.