National College on DUIBlog
Information courtesy of Lawrence Taylor - DUIblog
I continue to receive queries asking why I don't do a story about the National College on DUIBlog. The answer is that one of the first articles I wrote on the website, on October 26, 2004, was entitled (surprisingly) "The National College for DUI Defense":
Until a few years ago, attorneys attempting to defend a client against drunk driving charges were general practitioners who had little, if any, understanding of the nature of the offense. They were unfamiliar with such DUI investigatory methods as field sobriety tests, and there was an almost complete lack of seminars on how to defend these clients. Most importantly, defense lawyers were completely ignorant about the complexities of blood alcohol analysis -- whether of blood, breath or urine. How does this Breathalyzer work? What is infrared analysis? Gas chromatography? How is alcohol metabolized in the human body? What is "Widmarks formula"? Hematocrit? What is "retrograde extrapolation" and how does it work? What physiological variables occur between individuals? What medical conditions can effect a breath reading and how? What happens if blood samples ferment or coagulate?
Chemical analysis of blood, breath or urine involved knowledge of such highly technical fields as physiology, organic chemistry, physics, biophysics, electrical engineering -- subjects far beyond the experience and training of lawyers.
Then a few years ago twelve of the most prominent DUI defense attorneys in the country met in a hotel conference room at Chicagos OHare Airport. Over the following three days they hammered out plans for a new professional organization: "The National College for DUI Defense". They created this as a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of the DUI Bar, primarily through providing educational seminars. An important secondary purpose of the organization was to address the problem of insularity in the profession -- the isolation of lawyers; the College would be a tool with which attorneys across the country could share information, ideas and experiences.