|Standardized Field Sobriety Tests||Last Chance Seminar 2022 (HSV)||2022|
|Field Sobriety Tests||Mastering Scientific Evidence (MSE) – TCDLA – National College of DUI Defense (NCDD)||2018|
|Alabama DUI Arrest and Diversion Programs||NCDD Winter Session (ATL)||2018|
|Alabama’s New DUI Laws||Criminal Defense Law Seminar (Tuscaloosa)||2018|
|Justice Must Be Won XXIII (*didn’t speak)||ACDLA June Session (Orange Beach)||2018|
|DUI Nuts and Bolts||People’s Law School (HSV)||2015|
|Draeger Breakout Session||TCDLA NCDD MSE (New Orleans)||2015|
|*didn’t speak||NCDD 2015 Summer Session Boston Seminar||2015|
|Breath Testing – The 12-Step Program||NCDD Birmingham PD Seminar||2015|
|Advanced DWI Seminar||TCDLA Stuart Kinard Memorial (Texas)||2013|
|From Arrest to Appeal||DUI Practice in Alabama (Cumberland)||2013|
|Breath Testing for Beginners||TCDLA NCDD MSE||2013|
|NCDD Winter Session||2013|
|Recent Changes to Alabama’s DUI Law||Morgan County Bar Association||2013|
|Field Sobriety Tests||DUI Practice in Alabama from Arrest to Appeal||2013|
|Recent Changes to Alabama’s DUI Law||Madison Municipal Judges Conference||2012|
|Draeger Breath Testing Device||Mastering Scientific Evidence in DUI/DWI Cases||2012|
|DUI Updates – Ignition Interlock Law||Circuit and District Judges Mid-Winter Conference||2012|
|Draeger Breath Testing Device||Mastering Scientific Evidence in DUI/DWI Cases||2011|
|DUI Manslaughter||Understanding Forensic Evidence in DUI and Traffic Homicide Cases||2010|
|DUI Defense Fundamentals||Fundamentals in DUI Defense & Criminal Defense Law||2010|
|DUI Defense Strategies||2010 Last Chance Seminar||2010|
|Virtual Library||2008 Winter Session||2008|
|DUI Defense - The 12 Step Program||Louisiana Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||2007|
|Instruction on DUI Trials||Huntsville Police Academy Training||2007|
|Case Law Update 2007||Avoiding Malpractice 2007||2007|
|Case Law Update 2007||2007 Criminal Defense & DUI||2007|
|Instruction on DUI Trials||Huntsville Police Academy Training||2006|
|DUI Defense||2006 DUI Defense in Alabama||2006|
|Breath Testing||National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys||2005|
|Instruction on DUI Trials||Huntsville Police Academy Training||2005|
|DUI Defense||2005 Winter Session "Duty, Honor & Success"||2005|
|Blood, Breath & Tears||The Florida Bar, Lake Buena Vista, FL||2004|
|Breath Test Cross Examination||The Florida Bar||2004|
|The Basics of Evidential Breath Testing||Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||2004|
|DUI in Alabama||Justice Must Be Won XII: 2004 Summer Seminar||2004|
|Breath Alcohol Testing||Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||2004|
|DUI Defense||Getting Tougher on DUI: The Defense||2004|
|DUI Defense||DUI Seminar||2004|
|DUI Defense||Driving Under the Influence: The Prosecution & Defense of DUI Cases||2004|
|Alcohol in the Human Body (Intoxilyzer)||Superheroes of DUI Defense||2003|
|The Effective Use of Demonstrative Evidence||Mississippi Continuing Legal Education||2003|
|Alcohol in the Human Body (Draeger)||Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education||2003|
|Breath Test Case & Appeal||Getting Tough on DWI: The Defense||2003|
|Evidence||DWI Defense According to the Code of the West||2003|
|2003 Alabama Case Law Update and Current Issues||DUI Defense in Alabama||2003|
|State of the Art Gems for Chemical Testing||Defense of Drinking Drivers Institute||2003|
|DUI Defense Strategies||Strategies in Handling DWI and DUI Cases||2002|
|Mastering Scientific Evidence||Mastering Scientific Evidence in DUI/DWI Cases||2002|
|Getting Tough on DWI: The Defense||Getting Tough on DUI||2002|
|Standardized Field Sobriety Tests; What are they Anyway?||Georgia DUI Update||2002|
|The Law of DUI Practice- Demonstrative Evidence||DUI Revolution in Boston- NCDD Summer Session 2002||2002|
|DUI Defense||DUI Defense in Alabama||2002|
|2002 Alabama DUI-Related Case Law Update||DUI Defense||2002|
|Toys Are Us: The Effective Use of Demonstrative Aids||The Florida Bar||2001|
|What Works for the Best of the Best||Sixteenth National Seminar: Getting Tough on DUI||2001|
|Handling Driver's License Suspensions Seminar - Keynote Speaker||Handling Administrative Driver's License Suspensions and Revocations||2001|
|NHTSA SFST Validation vs. Invalidation||2001 Summer Seminar and Annual Meeting||2001|
|Cross Examination of the Breath Test Expert||Second Annual Arkansas DWI/DUI Defense Seminar||2000|
|Recent Legislation and Court Decisions Affecting DUI Cases||Practice and Procedure in Alabama's Municipal and District Courts||2000|
|Mock Trial||Leadership 2000||2000|
|DWI Defense - The 12-Step Program||Fifth Annual Missouri DWI Defense Institute||2000|
|The Basic DWI Trial with Intoxilyzer||American's Best - 2000 The DWI Trial Accent on Persuasion||2000|
|DWI Cross of Arresting Officers||Advanced Criminal Law Seminar||2000|
|DUI in Alabama||2000 Four Corners Seminar: Back to the Basics||2000|
|Demonstrative Evidence in a DWI Case: Keeping the Judge and Jury Awake||University of Missouri - Columbia School of Law||1999|
|DUI Trial from a Defense Attorneys Perspective||Regional Seminar for Court and Police Officials||1999|
|New Development in Roadside Field Sobriety Test Evaluations||Mastering Scientific Evidence in DUI/DWI Cases||1999|
|Ten Death Blows to the Intoxilyzer||Lone Star Seminars||1999|
|Jury Selection Process Voir Dire||Getting Tough on DWI: The Defense (Science on Trial)||1999|
|Demonstrative Evidence in DUI Cases||DWI Trial: America's Best 1999||1999|
|Reliability/Unreliability of Breath Alcohol Test: A Closer Look Through Demonstration||DWI Means Defend with Ingenuity||1999|
|Evidence in DUI Cases||DUI Defense Academy||1999|
|Current Trends Affecting DUI Practice||Defending DUI Cases in Alabama Courts||1999|
|Demonstrative Evidence in DUI Cases||Traffic/DUI: Confused About the Recent Changes in SC DUI Law?||1998|
|Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officers||The Ultimate in DWI Defense||1998|
|Voir Dire and Demo: Cross of the Technical Supervisor||Texas Legal Publication & Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||1998|
|How to Conduct Jury Selection to Prepare the Panel for Scientific Evidence Which They Must Consider and Intoxilyzer 5000||Mastering Scientific Evidence in DUI/DWI Cases||1998|
|Georgia's Breath Testing Program and Scientific and Legal Challenges for 1998||Georgia DUI Trial Practice||1998|
|DUI Law||DUI Defense||1998|
|Defending the Accused Drunk Driver||DUI Cases in Alabama||1998|
|DUI Defense||Defending DUI's||1998|
|Cross-Examination of the Breathalyzer Operator||Cross Examination of the Breathalyzer Operator||1998|
|Flaws in the Intoxilyzer 5000||1998 Costa Rico Seminar||1998|
|Field Sobriety Tests||Texas Legal Publications & Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||1997|
|Forensic Ethanol Analysis and Interpretation||Southern Association of Forensic Sciences||1997|
|Defending the Difficult Alcohol-Related Case||MSCJ- DUI National Seminar, Las Vegas, NV||1997|
|Legal Aspects of the Intoxilyzer 5000||Intoxilyzer 5000 Certification Course||1997|
|Demonstrative Evidence in DUI Trials||Florida Bar Association, Miami, FL||1997|
|Evidence in DUI Trials||Defense of Drinking Drivers Institute||1997|
|Cross Examination of Arresting Officers||Defending DWI's: America's Best||1997|
|Breath Test Lecture & Demonstration||Defending DUI Cases||1997|
|Introduction of Scientific Evidence in Alcohol-Related Trials||American Legal Education||1997|
|Breath Testing||American Bar Association & National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers||1997|
|DUI Update - Defense Perspective||Alabama League of Municipalities||1997|
|Blood Test Challenges||Advanced DUI Seminar||1997|
|DUI Defense||Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association||1996|
|Intoxilyzer 5000 Breath Testing Device||National College for DUI Defense||1996|
|The Defense for DUI Cases||Cumberland Law School||1996|
The Alabama legislature, in a 2021 legislative session, passed into law an act that will allow many criminal convictions to be expunged. When criminal arrests and now convictions are “expunged” the result is supposed to remove these sensitive records from public access. This new expungement law went into effect August 1, 2021. The new law even includes many felony convictions. This means that felony convictions that did not include a violent crime can be removed from access by most everyone, i. e. expunged.
The expungement law, which can be found via the internet is located in Section 15-27-1 et seq. of the Code of Alabama, 1975. There is a partial list of violent crimes that cannot be expunged found in Section 12-25-32(15) of the Alabama Code.
In felony conviction expungements, one must first obtain a pardon from the State of Alabama. We do not know how this will play out since according to sources, only 20 pardons were issued in the whole year of 2020!
Unfortunately, DUI convictions were excluded from this new expungement law, so that a DUI conviction, whether it was a felony or misdemeanor, cannot be expunged. In DUI cases that were resolved in the citizen’s favor, however, the arrest records CAN be expunged.
Anyone seeking to obtain an expungement, whether convicted or not, should consult a lawyer who does this type of work.
Phillip B. Price
Price Law Firm, P. C.
In March I, with the other members of the public, began hearing of a possible virus coming around. Covid 19 or Corona virus, both meaning the virus that presumably “escaped” from Wuhan, China was invading our country. Flights started getting banned, people started getting quarantined, and then suddenly, every-day items like bathroom tissue, paper towels and bottled water flew off the store shelves and became scarce. Bars and restaurants were ordered by the government to shut down. Well, the obvious happened, there was far less drinking and driving. People not going out to socially drink reduced the number of DUI arrests. Combined with stand-down orders of police leaders to reduce the threat of invading jails with Covid-19, DUI’s plummeted.
The number of DUI arrests have decreased around 70% according to some statistics. It is ironic the amount of alcohol sales from state stores increased by over 20% as the number of DUI cases decreased. Covid-19 has adversely affected the legal system as it limps along doing the best it can at providing people, both victims and defendants their chance in court. With masks and social distancing required, many stresses have been placed upon the legal system to remain fair to both sides of the litigation playing field. Many issues are yet to be decided; the right to a “public” trial is a constitutional right guaranteed by the state and national constitutions. Does limiting the number of people in a courtroom affect the accused’s right to a public trial? What effect does it have to the system of justice to allow the jurors to wear masks so their expressions on their faces are covered? What effect does wearing a mask have on one’s ability to do roadside field sobriety tests? It seems reasonable that everyone talking through a mask has “slurred speech”.
If you were handed a breath tube and asked to put it in your mouth and blow for a breath alcohol result, would you feel safe doing so considering the Covid-19 pandemic?
In states other than Alabama wearing facial masks is likely to increase one's breath temperature. Higher breath temperature will increase the breath alcohol reading as to their true blood alcohol reading by about 7% per degree F. Alabama is excluded from this phenomenon because Alabama's breath alcohol machines measure the temperature of the breath and will adjust the reading accordingly if the breath temperature is high. The average breath temperature is stated to be 34 degrees centigrade for the "average" person.
So, in my DUI lawyer world, many lessons have been learned and many more will be learned in the future as we pass through the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020.
Attorney Phillip Price, the founding partner and principal of the Price Law Firm, P.C., has been representing people charged with DUI in the State of Alabama for over 40 years. He is the author of the Alabama DUI Handbook published by West and he is a contributor to the DUI News Blog. He is well known for his results on behalf of his clients and, also, his knowledge dealing with various breath testing instruments including the Drager Alcotest MKIII, Intoxilyzer Model 5000, and Alco Sensor IV.
By, Phillip B. Price, Sr. ©, DUI Board Certified in DUI Defense Attorney
Most everyone knows what a DUI charge is. Most DUI’s are alcohol related. Simply put, one is arrested for DUI when the police claim that the person had too much alcohol to drink. In Alabama, there are currently 5 different ways to charge someone with driving under the influence (DUI). They are:
- Driving with a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater
- Driving after drinking alcohol to the point that the alcohol makes you an unsafe driver.
- Driving under the influence of a controlled substance
- Driving under the combined influence of alcohol and a controlled substance
- Driving under the influence of any substance that renders you incapable of safely driving
The penalties include the possibility of the loss of one’s driver’s license, possible jail, probation, counseling and/or treatment, fines, along with many other fees and secondary effects on one’s life.
I have been a DUI defense lawyer for over 35 years. I have seen the “legal” system make several changes in the DUI arena. There was a period of time when we could not settle a DUI case. You either pled guilty or went to trial. I have tried many, many DUI cases in my career; more than any other attorney north of Montgomery, Alabama, I would surmise. At one point, a circuit judge made me try 3 DUI jury trials in a row: one right after the other in the same week. Luckily, the juries in all three cases rendered “not guilty” verdicts! My point here is that I have seen the DUI “system” and laws change over the many years that I have been handling them.
One thing that has happened in the last decade is that there has been an increase in the number of “diversion” programs. “Diversion” basically means an alternative to being convicted after compliance with many court-sponsored obligations. In 2013 the Alabama legislature passed an act that authorized municipalities to establish a “pre-trial diversion program”, in lieu of prosecuting the DUI case. Some cities around the state did so and some did not. A diversion program, generally speaking, means that one accused of DUI pleads guilty to the DUI, and the judge does not impose judgment or sentence. Meanwhile, the person charged with DUI does certain things, including but not limited to: counseling, treatment, community service, Victim Impact Panel, so-called “color-coding”, among many other possible requirements. If the person successfully completes the program, he or she gets their DUI case dismissed upon the payment of many fees and court costs. If the person fails with any aspect of the program, they are automatically up for automatic conviction and will suffer the consequences thereof.
The City of Huntsville, Alabama passed diversion ordinance No. 13-845 in October of 2013. The city, at that time determined that the persons who would qualify for the benefits of diversion would be limited to those who took the breath test and scored below .12% BAC. If you refused the breath test or blew .12% BAC or greater, you did not qualify for the City of Huntsville diversion program. The City of Huntsville is presently in the process of passing a brand-new “diversion program”. Under the diversion program being presently considered by the Huntsville governing body, includes DUI offenders whose blood alcohol content is as high as .149% BAC. It also allows the new diversion program to those DUI arrestees who refused to take the breath test altogether. It does not exclude people who have been previously arrested for DUI.
So, it is a “no brainer” that the citizen accused of DUI should accept the diversion program with the City of Huntsville, right? NOT SO FAST! SEEK THE ADVICE OF AN EXPERIENCED DUI ATTORNEY! WHY? Keep reading.
2018 Alabama Interlock Law
In 2018, the Alabama legislature, at the “encouragement” of interlock lobbyists, passed a bill that requires any person who enters a diversion, or similar program, to install an interlock device on his or her vehicle for period of six months, or the length of the diversion program, whichever is longer. There is a fee for installation, a monthly fee for maintenance, along with other fees associated with the device. The interlock device is not specific for ethyl alcohol and it will beep intermittently and one must find a place to pull over and blow or the vehicle will go dead and will not start. One must normally blow into the interlock device and show a BAC under a .02%.
Administration Driver’s License Suspension
Typically, in every DUI arrest, the citizen will either refuse the breath test or take it and blow over .08% BAC. In most cases, the citizen will have his or her driver’s license confiscated and will also undergo a suspension of the driver’s license for a period of time. This can occur even if the person is undergoing diversion unless action is taken. There ARE things that can be done to keep this from happening in many/most cases.
Failing the Diversion Program means DUI conviction
Under the terms of the City of Huntsville’s proposed diversion ordinance, one has to plead guilty in the record in order to get diversion. If one messes up, the court can automatically impose a DUI conviction that the person pled guilty to in order to get diversion.
Effects of Guilty Plea
In certain circumstances, a mere plea of guilty, or an admission of guilt, can have negative ramifications. This is true even if the person is NOT convicted of the DUI that he or she had previously admitted to. The two circumstances that immediately come to mind are those associated with CDL holders and Immigrants. There are other circumstances as well that the mere admission of being under the influence can cause negative consequences.
There are diversion programs within the Alabama DUI litigation system. Most of the comments made herein apply to other diversion programs in the state as well as the diversion program proposed by the City of Huntsville, Alabama. Whether to undergo the particular program requires a detailed analysis. Price Law Firm PC stands ready and able to help you with your DUI decisions. YOU MUST GET YOUR CASE EVALUATED EARLY! This written and submitted by: DUI defense attorney, Phillip B. Price, Sr., who is the ONLY attorney in North Alabama that is “Board Certified in DUI Defense” by the National College for DUI Defense, as sanctioned by the American Bar Association for the certification.
Page 1 of 3