Providing Notice of Implied Consent Rights to a Deaf Defendant

Several earlier posts address the requirement that a defendant be notified of statutory rights related to implied consent testing before being requested to submit to a test of his breath, blood or other bodily fluid.  Posts here and here address whether notification of those rights must be provided in language that the defendant understands.  A … Read more


Proving the Per Se Prong of Impaired Driving without a Chemical Analysis

The usual way for the State to establish that a person drove while impaired under the per se prong of G.S. 20-138.1 is to introduce the results of a chemical analysis demonstrating that the person had an alcohol concentration of 0.08 or more at any relevant time after the driving. Not only are the results … Read more

Miranda and Field Sobriety Tests

Normally, field sobriety tests are administered before an arrest is made, as part of an officer’s investigation into a possible DWI. In that case, it’s clear that the officer need not read the driver his Miranda rights before administering the tests. The driver isn’t in custody — he’s just the subject of a traffic stop … Read more


Can I Get a Remedy? Suppression of Chemical Analyses in Implied Consent Cases for Statutory Violations

Dan Defendant is charged with and arrested for driving while impaired. He is taken to a law enforcement center for administration of a chemical analysis. At 2:00 a.m., the chemical analyst informs Dan of his implied consent rights, as set forth in G.S. 20-16.2. Dan indicates that he wishes to call a witness. Dan calls … Read more


Boating While Impaired

Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer around these parts, and I thought I’d mark the occasion with a post related to boating (a favorite summer pastime) and crime (since this is, after all, the criminal law blog).  Specifically, this post discusses the crime of boating while impaired. G.S. 75A-10(b1) prohibits the operation of … Read more


Nothing Much Shocking about Shockley

The court of appeals ruled this week in State v. Shockley that alcohol concentration readings from two of four attempted breath samples collected within 18 minutes of one another met the “consecutively administered tests” requirement for admissibility of a chemical analysis pursuant to former G.S. 20-139.1(b3).  (As amended in 2006, the provision now requires “at … Read more

News Roundup

Although I have a couple of more scholarly posts ready to go, there have been enough intriguing news stories over the past several days that I couldn’t resist doing another news roundup. First, returning to a topic I blogged about here, a Texas inmate has just been convicted of having a cell phone in prison … Read more

Breathalyzer Source Code

Once again, my interest in criminal law and my interest in technology have come together in a brewing legal controversy.  The issue is whether a DWI defendant who has submitted to a breath test for alcohol has a right to access the “source code” of the breath analysis machine.  The Minnesota Supreme Court, in State … Read more