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Police train to better recognize drivers intoxicated on marijuana

The legalization of marijuana use Massachusetts has prompted law enforcement to train to better recognize drivers under the influence. The two-day training is called Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement (ARIDE) and is the first step towards certification in drug recognition. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration with additional input from the Association of Chiefs of Police and others in law enforcement developed it.

It is intended to bridge the gap between Standardized Field Sobriety Testing and Drug Evaluation and Classification program. With marijuana staying in the body and detectable from testing long after the intoxicating effects wear off, these roadside tests will likely be an important part of any case against a driver.

Federal judges allows DUI case to continue without evidence

Utah is already famous for its stringent laws regarding alcohol consumption, and soon will have the toughest DUI laws in the country. So some locals were not surprised when a woman was charged with DUI despite the fact that she had a blood alcohol level of .01 from one beer she had at lunch.

Despite the fact that her speech was not slurred and her eyes were not bloodshot, the officers said they smelled alcohol in the car and had her perform roadside tests, which they claimed she failed. She was subsequently handcuffed, and taken into custody so she could give a blood sample, which eventually was found to be under the legal limit of driving under the influence.

Could answering a simple question incriminate you?

Going out for a few drinks with friends may be a pastime you enjoy. Settling in behind a few beers or other alcoholic beverages may give you time to catch up on your week and inform your friends about any news in your life. Of course, at the end of the night, you want to get home safely, so you curb your drinking to a responsible amount.

Still, on your way home, a police officer may have pulled over your vehicle because you had a tail light out or for some other reason completely unrelated to drinking and driving. However, after approaching you, an officer may suspect that you consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel. The officer may ask whether you have been drinking, but should you answer?

Man helping drunk neighbor home is arrested

The arrest of a 23-year-old Baltimore man has made the local and national news. The man, who is an African-American audio engineer and producer, was going home on November 17 when he came across a drunken neighbor who was having trouble walking. The man got the drunken man home safely and then proceeded to his own home where he was met by several police cars and fire trucks. They were there because someone had called emergency services to get aid for the drunken man.

Rather than drop the matter, law enforcement began asking questions. The man refused to answer them, telling one newspaper that he considered the matter closed. The officers, on the other hand, were just getting starting. An officer claimed that she smelled marijuana and subsequently arrested the man.

Do not use these excuses when pulled over

There are few if any excuses that will convince law enforcement that there is a good reason for driving under the influence. Instead, the best approach is to be polite but firm in not offering up any incriminating information before speaking with experienced criminal defense attorney.

This is, of course a serious matter, but we thought it would be fun to share some of the more colorful excuses that obviously did not work. We found this story by an officer from Wisconsin who has heard some good ones.

New federal sentencing guidelines possible

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators led by Chuck Grassley has agreed upon the most substantial rewrite of federal sentencing guidelines in a generation. It is believed that this will give judges more flexibility to avoid mandatory minimums that have disproportionately affected minorities.

No more stacking

Oversight and laws in place for marijuana businesses and usage

Just about everyone knows the impact that previous marijuana laws had upon Worcester. Now the Cannabis Control Commission (CCC) is taking steps to rectify the fact that Worcester was one of 29 cities that were disproportionately affected by the enforcement of previous cannabis laws.

Commonwealth and city will regulate

Massachusetts changes its expungement laws

The public's access to court records is a cornerstone of our society. However, we also have a certain level of right to privacy, which can be the premise for sealing or expunging records. Sealed records are kept but hidden from public scrutiny, while expungement involves erasing all record of the charge. If the court ordered process for sealing or expunging is complete, the individual is under no legal obligation to disclose that they have been arrested or convicted of whatever the original charge was.

The motives for doing this may be personal, but some common reasons why one would want to seal or expunge their record include:

What laws apply to OUI cases in Massachusetts?

Operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal in Massachusetts and all states. While you may have never planned for a police officer to pull you over and charge you for OUI, it could happen to anyone. In your situation, you may have genuinely believed that your prescription medication had worn off or that the alcoholic beverages you consumed had not impacted your abilities, and as a result, you chose to get behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, that same night, an officer stopped your vehicle and suspected you of impairment. Now, you face a charge for OUI, and you undoubtedly worry about the impacts a conviction could have on your future.

Law enforcement can't shoot dogs during search

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled 2-1 that police officers searching a couple's house for marijuana could not shoot two of the occupants'dogs because they were unlicensed. This enables the occupants to proceed with a suit to protect their Fourth Amendment right by claiming that there was illegal seizure and they are entitled to due to process before the dogs are seized. A third dog shot by an officer is not before the courts.

According to reports, the Detroit couple lived as squatters in their residence when police raided it in 2016. The police had obtained a search warrant after a tip was left on a narcotics hotline and an undercover drug deal was conducted at the residence. Two pit bulls were shot in separate attacks on the officers. A rottweiler locked in the bathroom was shot through a bathroom door -- officers claimed the animal was in an attack posture when they peered through a crack of a slightly ajar door.

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