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Immediate License Suspensions for DUI Called Effective
Drunken-driving convictions could increase because of the Supreme Court's recent ruling

Immediate License Suspensions for DUI Called Effective

Alcohol-related crashes are reduced when police immediately suspend the driving privileges of drivers charged with drunk driving, according to a new study.

Scientific American reported July 24 that researcher Alexander Wagenaar and colleagues at the University of Florida College of Medicine found that "preconviction license suspension laws are clearly successful in reducing the rates of alcohol-related crashes," whereas "postconviction laws have virtually no effect."

The researchers estimated that taking away the licenses of anyone who fails a field sobriety test cut drunk-driving fatalities by 5 percent and saves about 800 lives annually. The study was based on an analysis of 26 years of federal crash data from 46 states with driver's license suspension laws on the books.

Experts say that swift punishment has been shown to be more effective than delayed sanctions. Only nine states allow drivers to keep their licenses if they fail a field sobriety test: Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Tennessee.

The study was published in the August 2007 issue of the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research.

Wagenaar, A.C., Maldonado-Molina, M.M. (2007) Effects of Drivers' License Suspension Policies on Alcohol-Related Crash Involvement: Long-Term Follow-Up in Forty-Six States. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 31(8): 1399-1406; doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2007.00441.x.
Source: www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2007/immediate-license-suspensions.html

Drunken-driving convictions could increase because of the Supreme Court's recent ruling

Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that police officers could administer warrantless Breathalyzer tests to people suspected of driving drunk.

The case, Birchfield v. North Dakota, effectively criminalizes the refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer test and affects laws in 11 states.

The outcome will most likely lead to an increase in drunken-driving convictions across the country, according to Derek Andrews, a defense attorney at the DUI Foundation, the organization linked to the viral "silent" drunken-driving checkpoint hack.

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, though laws vary by state. Many lawyers openly encourage their clients to refuse a Breathalyzer because prosecutors have a harder time landing convictions with less evidence. Depending on the probable cause, refusing to take a pre-arrest Breathalyzer likely won't result in a license suspension, but in many states, like New York, refusing a -arrest Breathalyzer could lead to automatic license suspension of varying durations.

With the Supreme Court's decision, however, there could be "an increase in the number of chemical test results," Andrews wrote in an email to Business Insider. People might be more likely to submit for fear of the certain legal repercussions. Chemical tests can be a Breathalyzer, blood draw, or even a urine sample.

To put it simply, more people submitting to Breathalyzer tests means that states and prosecutors will have greater evidence against them.

While a state should be able to ask for a warrantless Breathalyzer test, and even a blood draw, states should not be able to criminalize the refusal of the test, according to Andrews.

"It is a fundamental premise of our criminal justice system that it is the government's burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone is guilty of a crime, and it is the government's duty to collect evidence and develop a case," Andrews wrote. "It is not, however, a person's duty to give that evidence to the government."
Source: www.aol.com/article/2016/06/29/drunk-driving-dui-increase-supreme-court-ruling/21421482/

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