Posts Tagged ‘dui laws’

Are DUI Laws A Sophisticated Form Of Gaslighting?

August 19th, 2014

dui lawsHow does “gaslighting” relate to Ohio DUI laws?

In the 1944 film Gaslight, Ingrid Bergman’s character  Paula Alquist Anton meets and marries the charming Gregory Anton played by Charles Boyer.  The husband does everything in his power to isolate his wife from other people. He allows her neither to go out nor to have visitors, implying that he is doing so for her own good, because her nerves have been acting up, causing her to become a kleptomaniac and to imagine things that are not real. On the one occasion when he does take her out to a musical gathering at a friend’s house, he shows Paula his watch chain, from which his watch has mysteriously disappeared. When he finds it in her handbag, she becomes hysterical, and Gregory takes her home. She sees why she should not go out in public.  We learn that these events have been part of a sophisticated manipulation by Gregory .  In the film’s dénouement the wife’s sanity is returned when a police detective confirms her belief that the gaslights are indeed flickering.  It is from this scene that we get the psychological term “gaslighting” which“is a form of mental abuse in which false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memoryperception, and sanity.” Dorpat, T.L. (1994). “On the double whammy and gaslighting”Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy 11 (1): 91–96.  Instances may range simply from the denial by an abuser that previous abusive incidents ever occurred, up to the staging of bizarre events by the abuser with the intention of disorienting the victim.

Why do I maintain that neo-prohibitionists, their corporate backers and their government supporters are engaged in gaslighting when it comes to DUI laws?

Ohio has declared WAR on drunk drivers.  This must mean that drunk driving is more pervasive than ever, right?  This is simply not the case.  We have made massive strides in combatting the problem.  Alcohol-related traffic fatalities have dropped from 60% of all traffic deaths in 1982 down to 31% in 2010. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview. Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note. 2011 (December). DOT HS 811 552. Page 2, Table 3.   Alcohol-related traffic fatalities per vehicle miles driven have also dropped dramatically — from 1.64 deaths per 100 million miles traveled in 1982 down to 0.45 in 2006 (the latest year for which such statistics are available). National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2006 Traffic Safety Annual Assessment: Alcohol-Related Fatalities. Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note. 2007. DOT HS 810 821. Page 1, Figure 1.  The proportion of alcohol-related crash fatalities has fallen 52% since 1982, but the proportion of traffic deaths NOT associated with alcohol has jumped 78% during the same time.  These number are not presented to demonstrate that drunk driving is not a national problem – it is.  The numbers are not meant to mitigate the immeasurable pain of a totally preventable drunk driving tragedy, but to ask whether or not implementing a policy of ever increasing penalties will help stop the problem.  It can be argued that we are winning the battle against alcohol-related traffic deaths.  National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 2010 Motor Vehicle Crashes: Overview. Traffic Safety Facts: Research Note. 2011 (December). DOT HS 811 552. Page 2, Table 3; National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Traffic Fatalities in 2010 Drop to Lowest Rate in Recorded History. NHTSA Press Release. April 1, 2011.

The general public has also been led to believe that longer and longer jail sentences are effective in combatting drunk drivers.  Despite the popularity and political expediency of ratcheting up jail time, research suggests that jail or prison sentences for alcohol offenses appear to be of little value in deterring high BAC drivers.  Compton, R. Preliminary analysis of the effect of Tennessee’s mandatory jail sanction on DWI recidivism. Research Notes. 1986 (June) Washington, D.C.: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; Homel, R. Policing and Punishing the Drinking Driver: A Study of General and Specific Deterrence. NY: Springer Verlag, 1988; Joksch, H.C. The Impact of Severe Penalties on Drinking and Driving. Washington, D.C.: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 1988; Ross, H.L., and Klette, H. (1995). Abandonment of mandatory jail for impaired drivers in Norway and Sweden. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 1995, 27(2),151-157 as cited by Dr. David J. Hanson, Alcohol Problems and Solutions. Research suggest that the cry for larger and larger fines is also an ineffective policy.  In fact, large fines appear have little deterrent effect, according to research. Lawpoolski, S., et al. Speeding Tickets: Effective Deterrents for  Future Violations or Not? Apaer presented at TRB annual meeting, 2006.

We have been manipulated to believe that all drunk drivers are the same and that they pose the same threat level.  In fact, some have gone as far as saying every drunk driver should be charged with attempted murder. Ozy Editors, Does DUI = Attempted Murder?, Sept. 2013. The fact is that we know the average BAC among fatally injured drinking drivers is .16. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Performance Measures. NHTSA Budget Overview FY 2007. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2007.  High BAC drivers tend to be male, aged 25-35, and have a history of DWI convictions and polydrug abuse. Hedlund, James and James Fell. Repeat Offenders and Persistent Drinking Drivers in the U.S..Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2007.  Hardcore drunk drivers are responsible for 70% of all drunk driving fatalities and are 380 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. Drivers with blood alcohol concentration levels in excess of .15 are only one percent of all drivers on weekend nights; however, they are involved in nearly 50% of all fatal crashes during that time. Id.  Instead of focusing on this problem group, government/corporate/prohibitionist groups apply DUI laws against every driver on the road.

Often the harshest DUI penalties are applied to every driver.  An example of this is the use of roadblocks and checkpoints which are not as effective as other law enforcement methods, but are used primarily to intimidate and deter the general populous and attack some of our most cherished American ideals.   Perhaps the most egregious form of this gaslighting is the “No-refusal” checkpoint in which judges are sitting by to allow forced blood draws for any person attempting to evade a breath test.  Another example of this misguided approach is the DADSS program which seeks to have passive alcohol searches embedded in every car manufactured in the United States.  No one dares question the need for crack-downs like the twice annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” and its accompanying multimillion dollar ad blitz.  Why do we never pause to ask if this is helping.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving became the most successful advocacy group of all time not because of their demand for “penalties for all,” but because they were able to successfully challenge the social norm that drinking a driving was harmless and an activity that we all engaged in. Hellstrom, David. “Reducing Risk: The Prevention Collaborative’s Positive Social Norming Campaign.” Conference presentation at the National Conference on the Social Norms Model, July 17, 2003, Boston, MA; Collaboration and social norms: The key to reducing impaired driving among college students in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The Peer Educator, October 2002, Vol. 25, No.3; National Social Norms Resource Center. Minnesota DWI Prevention: The Prevention Collaborative as cited by Dr. David J. Hanson, Alcohol Problems and Solutions.  In his book Why People Obey The Law, legal scholar Tom Tyler argues that compliance with the law has less to do with deterrence (fear of penalty) than with the rational decision that complying with the law is in a person’s self-interest. More important to their compliance is the decision that following the law is the right thing to do. Having the biggest impact on their perception of the law is the belief in the legitimacy of the authority. “People who go to traffic court are less concerned with the outcome – even when it is a costly ticket or fine – than with the fairness of the process.” Vanderbilt, Tom. Traffic: why we drive the way we do (and what it says about us), 2008, pp 235. Thus the societal norm that driving within the speed limit and driving without being impaired, is an agreed upon social construct and is enforced best by our agreement that violating these laws is dangerous and deserving of punishment.

For generations, Ohio have been told to fear alcohol and have overly taxed and regulated the alcohol industry. Ohio is one of 17 states where the government controls liquor sales.  While the “sin tax” in Ohio is huge, with taxes accounting for 40% of the retail price, some groups push their prohibitoinist agenda in calls for higher taxes on alcohol and more regulation.  Research demonstrates the fallacy of this policy.  Increasing the cost of alcohol with increased  taxation would have virtually no impact on reducing drunk driving.  Hanson, David J. Preventing Alcohol Problems: Alcohol, Culture and Control. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1995.  Common sense dictates that cost will not be a factor in the decision making process of a heavy alcohol user. 

We have so demonized alcohol that we have created a counter-intuitive binge drinking culture amongst our youth.  Mothers Against Drunk Driving and others call this folly to even consider lowering the drinking age.  Since 1984, the National Minimum Drinking Age Act has required states to raise the age to 21 or lose federal transportation money. South Dakota was the last state to comply, in 1988.  Vermont voted to raise the age in 1985, and in the ensuing 20 years, alcohol-related traffic fatalities dropped by 40 percent, according to Vermont State Police.  “Is there any significant support in the U.S. Congress for changing the law? We don’t see that,” said Chuck Hurley, CEO of MADD.  Typically, when states flirt with the idea, they quickly abandon it for fear of losing the highway funding, he said. This is gaslighting – preventing a needed national debate by making the topic off limits at the risk of losing highway traffic funds. “Our laws aren’t working. They’re not preventing underage drinking. What they’re doing is putting it outside the public eye,” Vermont state Sen. Hinda Miller said. “So you have a lot of kids binge drinking. They get sick, they get scared and they get into trouble and they can’t call because they know it’s illegal.”

Don’t ever drink and drive.  Be a designated driver.  Use alcohol responsibly. Be there for people who suffer from addiction.  We can do this!  Things will get better!

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  Email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

IFor more about DUI laws  check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburg,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Laser DUI Detectors Being Developed

June 13th, 2014

laser duiLaser DUI detectors are on the way! Imagine driving down the street and having a police laser passively check your car for alcohol vapors.  According to the Huffington Post, scientists at the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, successfully tested the device by aiming its laser at a car passing by at a distance of up to 20 meters. The car’s interior had been filled with alcohol vapor, simulating the exhalations of a drinker inside the car.

If this technology is successful, the laser DUI devices could be employed much like red-light cameras or used by stationary police like radar speed devices are currently being used.  The machine could also be used to take a picture of the car to alert police to the driver’s description and/or to see if anyone else (who may be have been drinking) is in the car.  Scientists are sure that later modifications can be made to the technology that will allow detection of other chemical compounds like marijuana.

A paper describing the device was published online in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing on May 19, 2014.

Laser DUI Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more info on laser DUI deteection check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboroHuber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Are You Fat? Old? A Woman? Then The DUI Laws Are Biased Against You

June 5th, 2014

DUI lawsDid you know that the DUI laws are inherently biased against most of us?

Alcohol loves water and will move into spaces where water is the most prevalent.  Fatty portions of the body have a low water content and absorb little of the alcohol, while muscular portions of the body have a high water content and absorb much alcohol.  As it is carried to all parts of the body by the blood, the alcohol distributes itself in proportion to the water content of the various parts of the body.  It is the presumed relationship between the amount of alcohol in the blood at a given time and the amount of alcohol which will be present in the breath which is it he basis for the theory that we can test breath and infer a BAC result.

So we can conclude that the fatter the person, the more alcohol will remain in the bloodstream which will result in a higher BAC result.  The better a person’s physical fitness level, the more alcohol will be taken up by the rest of the body, the less which will be left in the blood, which results in a lower BAC.  This may upset the traditional assumption that the bigger the person (i.e. the size of the container) the more alcohol that the person can consume and the lower the BAC.  The “lean” to “fat” ratio, however, is an important factor.

Women have, on average, a higher percentage of body fat.  Older people have, on average, a higher percentage of body fat.  Does this mean that the breath tests are biased against older people and women.  Based on the science the answer is, yes!  The higher the percentage of body fat, the more alcohol will stay in the bloodstream, the higher the BAC which will result from the alcohol consumed, as opposed to the same amount consumed by a lean, muscular person of the same weight.  Do the DUI laws take this into account – NO! It is up to your attorney to provide the jury with a context to understand how applying the law is unfair to you.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio and fighting for fairness in the DUI laws and their application.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

For more on Ohio DUI laws check these city-specific sites at the following links:
FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio Supreme Court Rules on DUI Motion To Suppress Issue

April 21st, 2014

DUI Motion To Suppress

The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on a DUI Motion to Suppress issue in State v. Codeluppi, 2012-Ohio-5812.

In August of 2011, Officer Ryan M. Young of the North Ridgeville Police Department stopped Ms. Codeluppi on Lorain Road for driving 53 m.p.h. in a 35 m.p.h. zone.  When Officer Young walked to the driver’s window of Ms. Codeluppi’s car, he smelled a strong odor of alcohol coming from the interior of the car. Following an investigation and administration of standardized field sobriety tests, the defendant was arrested for OVI.

In her motion to suppress, Ms. Codeluppi asserted that: the officer lacked sufficient reasonable grounds to effectuate a traffic stop and/or probable cause to arrest her, the Field Sobriety Tests were not conducted in substantial compliance with National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (“NHTSA”) Guidelines, and statements she made during the traffic stop were obtained in violation of her Fifth, Sixth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights.  Ms. Codeluppi also requested a hearing.

In its response, the State argued that Ms. Codeluppi’s DUI motion to suppress should be denied because, pursuant to Crim.R. 47, it failed to state with particularity the respects in which Officer Young failed to conduct the Field Sobriety Tests in substantial compliance with NHTSA guidelines. As such, the State contended that Ms. Codeluppi did not put it on notice by setting forth any factual basis for her challenge to the constitutionality of the traffic stop and arrest. On November 14, 2011, after reviewing both parties’ arguments, the trial court denied Ms. Codeluppi’s motion to suppress without conducting the scheduled hearing, and, instead, set the matter for a pre-trial. In its order, the trial court stated:

[Ms. Codeluppi’s] Motion to Suppress is denied, at the [S]tate’s request, due to the fact it fails to state legal and factual bases with sufficient particularity to * * * place the prosecutor and the court on notice of the issues to be decided. * * * Case remains set for pretrial on 11/15/11 at 1:30 P.M.

This is an all-to-familiar response from some courts in addressing a motion to suppress and a powerful tactic to prevent a defendant from asserting a DUI motion to suppress.  Much confusion has been raised as to what does, and what does not, constitute a proper motion.  While it is understandable that a court does not want to make a prosecutor “guess” as to what may be raised in a DUI motion to suppress, it is also a devastating blow to deny the single most important motion in a case because of an improperly filed motion.  What is worse, some courts apply this standard in an arbitrary way, denying lengthy or boilerplate motions because they assert issues with too much particularity.  This confusion was addressed by the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, in her majority opinion, wrote that a motion to suppress need not describe “in excruciating detail” the basis for arguing for suppression of the evidence. It does need, she said, to provide sufficient notice of the issues to be considered.  The motion to suppress, she wrote, “is merely a procedural vehicle to ‘put the ball into play’ and serve notice that the defendant intends to have the state meet its legislatively mandated burden of demonstrating compliance with any and all challenged regulations and requirements.”  Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor and Justices Terrence O’Donnell, Sharon L. Kennedy, Judith L. French and William M. O’Neill joined Lanzinger’s opinion. Justice Paul E. Pfeifer dissented without an opinion, stating that he would affirm the Ninth District ruling.

Attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio during prom season and beyond.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

To learn more about a DUI motion to suppress check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville

Ohio DUI Attorney: Is It A Just World?

April 10th, 2014

ohio dui attorneyAs an Ohio DUI attorney, I often observe a bias that people carry toward those accused of drunk driving.  Psychologists call this phenomena the “Just World Hypothesis.”

The belief that people get what they deserve and deserve what they get, which was first theorized by Melvin Lerner in 1977.  Lerner, M.J. & Miller, D.T. (1977). Just-world research and the attribution process: Looking back and ahead. Psychological Bulletin85, 1030-1051.  Attributing failures to dispositional causes rather than situational causes, which are unchangeable and uncontrollable, satisfies our need to believe that the world is fair and we have control over our life. We are motivated to see a just world because this reduces our perceived threats,Burger, J.M. (1981). Motivational biases in the attribution of responsibility for an accident: A meta-analysis of the defensive-attribution hypothesis. Psychological Bulletin90, 496-512, Walster, E. (1966). Assignment of responsibility for an accident. Journal of Personality and Social31, 73-79, gives us a sense of security, helps us find meaning in difficult and unsettling circumstances, and benefits us psychologically.  Gilbert, D.T., & Malone, P.S. (1995).The correspondence bias. Psychological Bulletin117, 21–38.

Unfortunately, the just-world hypothesis also results in a tendency for people to blame and disparage victims of a tragedy or an accident, such as victims of rape (See Abrams, D., Viki, G.T., Masser, B., & Bohner, G. (2003). Perceptions of stranger and acquaintance rape: The role of benevolent and hostile sexism in victim blame and rape proclivity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology84, 111-125;Bell, S.T., Kuriloff, P.J., & Lottes, I. (1994). Understanding attributions of blame in stranger-rape and date-rape situations: An examinations of gender, race, identification, and students’ social perceptions of rape victims. Journal of Applied Social Psychology24, 1719-1734) and domestic abuse (See Summers, G., & Feldman, N.S. (1984).Blaming the victim versus blaming the perpetrator: An attributional analysis of spouse abuse.Journal of Applied Social and Clinical Psychology2, 339-347) to reassure themselves of their insusceptibility to such events. People may even go to such extremes as the victim’s faults in “past life” to pursue justification for their bad outcome.(Woogler, R.J. (1988). Other lives, other selves: A Jungian psychotherapist discovers past lives. New York: Bantam.)

The just world phenomena is observed in DUI trials as a bias that can cause a jury to overlook the evidence and blame the accused driver for putting himself or herself in a position where an officer could arrest them.  When you combine this inherent bias with a society that stigmatizes drinking drivers (Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over), you are left with a turbulent trial scenario for your attorney to face.  An experienced Ohio DUI attorney will make allowances for the juries unknown bias by addressing it in the void dire and in a closing argument.  Often, simply addressing the bias is enough of an inoculation to allow the jurors to focus on the evidence.

Ohio DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II dedicates his practice to defending the accused drunk driver in the Miami Valley and throughout Ohio.  He has the credentials and the experience to win your case and has made himself Dayton’s choice for drunk driving defense. Contact Charles Rowland by phone at (937) 318-1384 or toll-free at 1-888-ROWLAND (888-769-5263). If you need assistance after hours, call the 24/7 DUI Hotline at (937) 776-2671.  You can have DaytonDUI at your fingertips by downloading the DaytonDUI Android App or have DaytonDUI sent directly to your mobile device by texting DaytonDUI (one word) to 50500.  Follow DaytonDUI on Facebook, @DaytonDUI on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, Pheed and Pintrest or get RSS of the Ohio DUI blog.  You can email CharlesRowland@DaytonDUI.com or visit his office at 2190 Gateway Dr., Fairborn, Ohio 45324.  “All I do is DUI defense.”

Find information on Ohio DUI attorney Charles M. Rowland II on this blog, or check these city-specific sites at the following links:

FairbornDaytonSpringfieldKetteringVandaliaXeniaMiamisburgSpringboro,Huber HeightsOakwoodBeavercreekCenterville