Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters
If you have ever been arrested for drunk driving you were probably given some sort of chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content. The most common chemical tests include a breath test or blood test. Many jurisdictions have statutes that allow prosecutors to give presumptive effect to chemical test readings of blood-alcohol content. In other words, if a person's blood alcohol content is at a certain level, the court will presume automatically that the person was driving under the influence of alcohol. Depending on the jurisdiction, some statutes will use the word "presumption," while others use the term "prima facie evidence."
A speeding offense constitutes the operation of a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of that permitted under the state statutes, local ordinances, or highway or traffic commission regulations. The typical speed statute prohibits driving in excess of a specified number of miles per hour. In addition to setting forth the specified maximum rate of speed, the speed statutes usually contain provisions prohibiting driving at a speed greater than is ''reasonable and proper'' or ''reasonable and prudent'' under the prevailing conditions or having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing, or words of similar import.
In the exercise of its police power, a state may establish minimum equipment and usage standards for lighting equipment of motor vehicles, including headlamps, rear lighting, turn signals, and hazard warning lights.
If a driver's act of drunk driving results in the death of another person, the driver will be charged with some form of homicide. Some states, however, treat the offense as a form of aggravated drunk driving, variously described as, inter alia, "vehicular manslaughter", "manslaughter with a vehicle," "negligent homicide manslaughter," or "DUI manslaughter."
The law of search and seizure is guided by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. This amendment, which protects individuals from unwarranted invasions of their privacy interests, requires that searches of private property be performed pursuant to a search warrant. Over time, however, the United States Supreme Court has allowed an exception for warrantless searches of automobiles. The justification for the exception is based upon the mobility of automobiles and the diminished expectation of privacy in automobiles.