How to Lose a DUI Trial Before it Begins
Information courtesy of Lawrence Taylor - DUIblog
Simple: Have a prosecutor on the bench.
The public perception of judges is that they are largely fair and impartial. Unfortunately, this is becoming ever less true -- at least, in the politically sensitive area of DUI litigation.
To begin with, the reality is that an increasingly high percentage of judges are former prosecutors; very few are public defenders or defense attorneys. In fact, a growing number of attorneys become prosecutors to obtain the "qualifications" for later election or political appointment to the bench. Not surprisingly, the rulings of these judges too often reflect their prosecutorial orientation.
Backgrounds aside, is the judiciary objective in DUI cases? Well, again there is the political reality: the failure to "get tough" on DUI defendants tends to result in negative comments from MADD, prosecutors and police agencies come re-election time -- maybe even in an endorsement of the latest prosecutor who wants the judge's position.
However, a more concrete sign of the judiciarys increasing bias in favor of the prosecution can be found by visiting a website entitled DUI: A National Online Resource Library for the Judiciary on Impaired Driving. The site is sponsored and maintained by the National Association of State Judicial Educators, under a contract from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The organization conducts training seminars for judges nationwide, distributes written materials and provides resources on the website.
Lets take a look at some of these online "resources" for training judges how to handle DUI cases and trials.....
For starters, theres an article from the American Prosecutors Research Institute, entitled Overcoming Impaired Driving Defenses. The article "identifies the most common defenses used in DUI cases and provides specific strategies for overcoming these claims."