Blog Post

DUI SEMINAR

Recently I attended a DUI seminar at the Sheraton Hotel in Clayton. Lawyers have seminars on things like DUI cases so that they can keep current on the law. The DUI laws are going to have some changes that come about starting January 1, 2017. In order to be able to better serve our clients we attend seminars to learn about the changes. Of course, we can read the new laws. But, as you might imagine, lawyers sometimes disagree on just what the law says. Yes, we can disagree on almost anything.

After the laws are written to various courts get to weigh in and write opinions on what the legislators meant when they said something as simple as “operate a motor vehicle.” I know that seems pretty clear cut. It isn’t. So DUI attorney will get together and review these cases and try to figure out what the courts are going to do next.

Our DUI laws are pretty messed up in Missouri. The legislators pass laws at the behest of special interest groups that are emotionally involved in certain issues. It is understandable that someone is hurt, even devastated, when an injury is caused by a DUI driver. But passing laws based on emotion creates problems in enforcing the laws.

Being a pickpocket used to carry the death penalty. But it did not stop pickpockets from operating. Making laws more and more strict does not stop certain types of behavior. We all know that Missouri has the death penalty for capitol murder. Yet, people are murdered every night in Missouri. Making laws about DUI driving does not make people quit drinking and driving. Almost nobody I represent on DUI cases intentionally gets drunk and drives. In fact almost all of them thought they were okay to drive. That’s why they were behind the wheel in the first place. They thought they were not impaired. If most of my clients for DUI cases had known they were over the legal limit, they would have never gotten behind the wheel of their car.

We need some reform in our DUI laws in Missouri. Not to make the punishment harsher but to make the punishment more fitting. We also need people to understand that just because the breathalyzer states you have a blood alcohol content (B.A.C.) of .08 you are not automatically guilty. These breathalyzers are not accurate and they give false readings. They are nothing but computers. How often have you had your computer not operate properly? Same thing.

Any way, that is a picture of me and Stephen Daniels. He is a documentary film maker and is making a film about alcohol related driving cases. It is a huge effort but he is making progress.

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