It’s that time of year again when motorists will be celebrating Memorial Day. This usually consists of good food, music, and the occasional alcoholic beverage. However, this also happens to be the time of year where law enforcement takes a more aggressive stance on DUI enforcement.

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Let’s honor our veterans but stay safe out there!

It is that time of year again where motorists will be ringing in the new year. This usually consists of good food, music, and the occasional alcoholic beverage. It is this time of year where law enforcement takes a more aggressive stance on DUI enforcement. Checkpoints are one manner by which law enforcement handles the enforcement of DUIs. Below you will find what you can expect during a DUI checkpoint.

When an officer first makes contact with a motorist who is stopped at a DUI checkpoint, the officer will be looking for physical manifestations of intoxication. These manifestations include slurred speech, glassy/bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcoholic beverage, inability to follow instructions or any other signs the officer deems a symptom of intoxication. One of the major other signs the officer will be looking for is whether the motorist is being belligerent or combative.

One of the simplest ways to avoid an issue at a DUI checkpoint is to be polite. A motorist who is polite and cooperative will be passed through much sooner than one who is uncooperative and belligerent. Remember though being cooperative is not the same thing as waiving your constitutionally protected rights. You have the right to refuse field sobriety tests as well as any breath alcohol tests.

If an officer suspects you are guilty of DUI, the next step after observation will involve the above mentioned tests. Officers will request that you submit to field sobriety tests. These tests include the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test, the Walk and Turn Test and the One-leg Stand Test. You have the right to refuse any of these tests. If you refuse these tests or even if you comply with these tests, the officer is the sole decider about who is or is not intoxicated.

The final stage of a DUI checkpoint will consist of a breath alcohol test. This test will calculate a motorists breath alcohol content. In Alabama, this test will likely be the Draegar Alcotest 7110. Prior to providing a breath test, a motorist will be advised their license will be suspended if they fail to provide a breath sample. Although the officer will make it sound as if a motorist has to provide a breath sample, motorists do not. Motorists can always refuse the tests

If for some reason you or someone you know is stopped and arrested for DUI, please call our attorneys at Boles Holmes White and allow us to assist you in the defense of your DUI charge.

A vehicle collision early on the morning of July 13th led to the arrest of a defensive lineman on the University of Alabama football team. Police witnessed Jarran Kentel Reed, 21, backing his 2011 White Dodge Charger into another car at the City Fest Parking lot in Tuscaloosa.  Reed attempted to flee the scene of the accident before a police officer was able to make contact and order the vehicle to be stopped.  Officers noted a strong odor of alcohol coming from inside the vehicle and immediately administered a standardized field sobriety test.  Reed’s blood alcohol content was found to be 0.13%, which is above the legal limit of .08%.

Reed was arrested for driving under the influence and transported to the Tuscaloosa County Jail where he was being held on a $1,000 unsecured bond. He becomes the second Alabama football player to be arrested in the last eight days in Tuscaloosa.  Kenyan Drake was arrested last Saturday on charges of obstructing government operations after he tried to retrieve his vehicle from a roped off police area at Kennedy’s Bar.

If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges, it is important that you contact an experienced attorney to handle your case. The lawyers at Boles Holmes White are experienced in a variety of legal matters and have a history of success in the courtroom. Call to schedule a free consultation today.

A new law that is designed to make it easier for judges to require DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles, officially went into effect for the State of Alabama on July 1st. The changes will now allow judges to force first time convicted DUI offenders to install an ignition interlock device for at least six months if their blood alcohol content is higher than .08 percent.  The installation of this device will allow a driver to avoid having their driver’s license suspended.  In April, Alabama became the 21st state to pass this version of the law

Senator Bill Holtzclaw and Representative Allen Farley have been applauded for their leadership in authoring this piece of legislation, HB 381/SB 319.

Alabama was the final state to enact an ignition interlock law in 2011.  The previous legislation was set-up to require ignition interlocks for all repeat and first-time convicted drunk drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher.   However, the law was never implemented.  The following year, over 250 people were killed in drunk-driving related traffic crashes that could have potentially been prevented had convicted drivers been using interlocks.

Ignition interlock laws have become a top priority of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).  The organization has reported that states with all-offender ignition interlock laws have reduced drunk driving deaths by 20% or more.  Oregon(42%) and Arizona(43%) have seen the nation’s highest reduction ins drunk driving fatalities.

Joey Kirby, the head football coach at Section High School, was arrested around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday morning and now faces charges that include reckless driving, having an open container of alcohol, illegal possession of an alcoholic beverage, and driving under the influence.  Troopers are still investigating and say subsequent charges remain pending.

An Alabama State Trooper stopped Kirby in the Rosalie community after he was clocked traveling 91 miles per hours in a 55 mile per hour zone on Alabama Highway 71.  State Troopers found him to be in possession of an open alcohol container and took him into custody after Kirby refused a field sobriety test.

According to Superintendent Kenneth Harding, this is the first infraction he’s had with Kirby since he was hired by the school system nine years ago.  “He made a poor choice, made a bad decision,” said Harding. “I’m sure he regrets it. We hate it; certainly not the image that we want to portray for our people. I’m sure it’s not what Coach Kirby wants to portray for his.” Harding plans to meet with Coach Kirby as soon as possible to discuss the charges.

Kirby was booked into the Jackson County Jail and held in custody for 24 hours.  He was released after 10:00 p.m. on Wednesday night.

Joey Kirby began his coaching tenure at Section High School in the fall of 2011.  His brother is currently an assistant coach.  Section’s football team had a record of 6-4 in 2013.

According to the most recent data provided by the Alabama Department of Transportation, there were 899 traffic fatalities in the state during 2011.  Drivers who were impaired by alcohol accounted for 220 of those fatalities and there were also nearly 7,000 separate incidents of driving under the influence reported. Numbers like these typically result in Alabama ranking higher in traffic fatality rates than other states.

In 2011 the state of Alabama first enacted an ignition interlock law that required convicted first-time and repeat offenders, with a blood alcohol level of .15 or more, to install breath alcohol recognition devices on their vehicles.  Three years later, new legislation is under consideration that would take a “zero tolerance” stance and require anyone convicted of a blood alcohol level over a .08 to have the option of a license suspension or driving with an interlock system for 24 months.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, states who adopted these stricter ignition interlock laws have seen incidences of driving under the influence decrease by as much as 67 percent.  If the new legislation passes, Alabama would become the 21st state to have these types of laws in their books.

Now that this legislation has been cleared by the Alabama State Senate, it must make its way through the House before becoming an official law.

When discussing DUI defense, it is important to have knowledge of the causes of intoxication.  What many people do not know is that people as far back as 10,000 B.C have used alcoholic beverages.  Early on, people discovered that certain domesticated grains and fruits could be converted into alcoholic beverages which could be used for religious purposes, daily nutrition, or pleasure.

Early on, people discovered that grains and fruits could be converted to alcoholic beverages through two processes.  First the grains and fruits can be fermented.  During the fermentation process, wines can be produced.  Both red and white grapes can be used to produce red or white wines.  White wines are not always produced by white grapes and vice versa for red wines.  The color of a wine is actually determined by the length of time the skins are left in the fermenting must.

Beer can also be created through the fermentation process.  Beer is a malted and hopped beverage.  Cereal grains are allowed to ferment for four weeks, although this timeframe can be shorted through the addition of Gibberellic acid.  The grains will begin a germination process where the enzymes from the grains are converted to sugars.  This allows the fermentation process to occur.

The second process for converting fruits and grains is the distillation process.  This occurs when the concentration of ethyl alcohol has been increased beyond that of the original fermentation process.  Alcoholic beverages like brandy, whiskey, vodka, rum, and scotch are created through the distillation process.

When choosing a DUI defense attorney, you should always look for someone well versed in all aspects of DUI defense.  While it may seem trivial, a DUI defense attorney who is knowledgeable about the history and processes of alcoholic beverages may be able to provide a defense to your case not thought of by other attorneys.  You should contact Boles Holmes White to speak with one of our DUI defense attorneys.

In the State of Alabama, in almost every DUI defense case, the issue of a breath test will arise.  The Draeger Alcotest 7110 is the most utilized breath-testing machine within the state of Alabama.  The Draeger, or Drager Company, manufactures the Alcotest 7110.  Draeger is based out of Lübek, Germany.

The Alcotest 7110 is designed to measure blood alcohol levels by analyzing a person’s breath.  The Alcotest 7110 uses two methods to accomplish this measurement.  The first technology used is called infrared spectroscopy (IR).  The second technology used is called electrochecmical cell (EC).

In theory two testing methods should provide greater reliability and legal integrity than a single method of testing, which the Intoxilyzer 5000 utilizes.  Although these two testing methods are supposed to be more reliable, there are other issues that can cause a faulty reading.

One such interference is radio frequency interference.  Radio frequency interference is more commonly known as electromagnetic interference.  One situation where electromagnetic interference could occur is through police radios.  In fact a handheld police radio keyed intermittently can affect radio frequency.

Another issue that can cause problems with the Alcotest 7110 is what has been titled the Tyndall effect.  The Tyndall effect can cause an elevated reading during the optical method of analysis as it measures the absorption of light.  When a person provides a breath sample, suspended solid particles, which may be located in the breath sample, can be isolated in the sample chamber and deflect infrared light.  This can keep the light from striking the detector and cause the appearance of absorption.  Common causes of this issue may be from an air bag deployment or common debris from repeated introduction of room air into the sample chamber.

The two issues listed above are only two of the numerous issues that may arise.  In order to truly vet each situation, you should contact one of our DUI attorneys at Boles Holmes White.

On January 23, 204, Justin Bieber was arrested for DUI.  Unfortunately, Bieber provided a voluntary urine sample to the police.  According to reports, this urine sample has now come back and provided a positive test result for both marijuana and alprazolam (Xanax).  Based upon reports from the police department, Bieber was unable to provide a breath sample at the police station upon initial requests.  Bieber attempted to grab the hose from the breath-testing device several times.   After the police were able to convince Bieber to stop grabbing the hose from the breath-testing device, reports show that Bieber did not provide a sufficient breath sample to test his breath alcohol content.  Reports further state that Bieber eventually provided a sample with a reading of .14 and .11.

This marks the first time Bieber has been arrested.  Since this arrest on January 23, 2014, Bieber has once again been arrested for an assault which allegedly occurred on December 30, 2013 after a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game.  On January 29, 2014, Bieber filed a not-guilty plea prior to his arraignment currently scheduled for February 14, 2014 for the DUI charge.

While Bieber was charged with DUI in Florida, the State of Alabama provides two sections for which someone arrested for DUI under theses circumstances could be charged.  First, in the State of Alabama under Alabama Code 32-5A-191(1) a person can be arrested for a blood alcohol content of .08% or better.  Second, a person can be charged for DUI under Alabama Code 32-5A-191(5) for being under the influence of any substance which impairs a persons ability to safely operate a vehicle.  Because Bieber allegedly had a blood alcohol content of .14% and .11% he could have been charged under Ala. Code 32-5A-191(1).  Furthermore, Bieber alegedly had Marijuana as well as Xanax in his system.  This would have allowed him to be charged with DUI under Ala. Code 32-5A-191(5).

If you or a family member is facing similar circumstances in the Birmingham, Alabama area, you should contact Boles Holmes White to speak with one of our DUI attorneys.  These types of cases can be fought and an experienced DUI attorney may know of viable defenses other attorneys do not know about.

Jessica Jean Gatewood, 50, has been formally charged with murder after she caused a fatal car crash in Limestone County this past September.  She now faces charges of reckless murder, driving under the influence, two counts of third-degree assault, and driving while revoked.  Gatewood remains in Limestone County Jail with bail set at $33,500.

State troopers accuse Gatewood of driving under the influence when she rear-ended a sport utility vehicle on Interstate 565 near Mooresville on September 25th.  Gatewood was driving nearly 70 miles per hour, in a 60 mph zone, when she collided with a Range Rover driven by Terrell Kent Hollingsworth.  Hollingsworth, 45, of Decatur, died from injuries at Huntsville Hospital two days after the wreck.

Court records show that Jessica Gatewood had been convicted three previous times for DUI.  She was charged in November 2010 with DUI in connection with a traffic accident in Limestone County.  While the case was pending, Gatewood was arrested two more times for driving under the influence.  She was arrested by Decatur Police on February 6, 2010.

After being arrested a second time in July of 2012 by Limestone County police, District Attorney Brian Jones’ office filed a motion to revoke Gatewood’s bond on the 1st case.  However, before she was arrested, the district attorney’s office allowed her to plead guilty to both Limestone county charges.