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  • Latest news on Ignition Interlock Devices


    Compliance-based Monitoring for DUI Offenders

    The “compliance-based monitoring” provision has states extending ignition interlock time for violations rather than canceling driving privileges. At the start of this year, almost half of the states had this provision on their books, but this year, 17 pieces of legislation include this in their language. It may be the most understated, but important change to ignition interlock laws ever.

    The concept is very simple: if an offender continues to drink and drive by blowing positive samples, then public safety demands that they be required to continue with their car breathalyzer device for a longer period of time—until they prove that they have been clean for an extended period of time and deserve to be reinstated.

    Under the old system, a violation meant that the offender’s permit was canceled, the ignition interlock was removed and they were prohibited from driving. This system is said to have encouraged offenders to drive illegally with no ignition interlock at all to prevent them from driving drunk.

    Source: www.intoxalock.com

    Red light cameras in California: are pictures admissible evidence?

    Carmen Goldsmith was driving through a Los Angeles suburb when she ran a red light and instantly became one of countless people nationwide ticketed by a red light camera. The California woman challenged her citation in a trial court, where she was found guilty and fined $436. She appealed and lost.

    Goldsmith’s case, The People of California v. Goldsmith, was recently heard before the California Supreme Court in Los Angeles. The court’s verdict likely will put to rest the admissibility of red light camera evidence in the country’s most populous state, where red light violations are by far the highest (compared to red light tickets in the $100 range in the rest of the country.)

    The California Supreme Court is hearing the case in an attempt to answer three basic questions:

    What testimony, if any, regarding the accuracy and reliability of the automated traffic enforcement system (ATES) is required as a prerequisite to admission of the ATES-generated evidence?

    Is the ATES evidence hearsay? If so, do any exceptions apply?

    The question of hearsay is an important one: American law does not recognize secondary witnesses—people who say that someone else told them something—to establish factual evidence. Goldsmith’s attorneys argue that the evidence against her was hearsay. Goldsmith’s constitutional right to confrontation was violated because the Redflex technician in charge of preparing the evidence package did not even bother to show up at Goldsmith’s trial. Neither did the police department employee that allegedly operated the red light cameras system. As a result, the investigator sent by the prosecution to trial as the sole witness was a secondary surrogate witness that testified in lieu of the primary surrogate witness (i.e., the police department employee that allegedly operated the system). Consequently, Goldsmith’s conviction cannot be upheld based on such “double surrogacy.”

    A ruling in Goldsmith’s case is expected within 90 days.

    LAPD officers tampered with in-car recording equipment

    An inspection by Los Angeles Police Department investigators found that police officers tampered with voice recording equipment in dozens of patrol cars in an effort to avoid being monitored while on duty, according to an article recently published in the LA Times.

    “The cameras, which turn on automatically whenever an officer activates the car’s emergency lights and sirens or can be activated manually, are used to record traffic stops and other encounters that occur in front of the vehicle. Officers also wear small transmitters on their belts that relay their voices back to the antennas in the patrol car. Most of the antennas were removed from cars in the Southeast Division, which covers Watts, Jordan Downs and Nickerson Gardens, where relations between police and minority communities have historically been marred by mistrust and claims of officer abuse. The in-car video cameras have been touted as a powerful deterrent to police misconduct and a tool for defending officers against false accusations.”

    As a result of the investigation, new rules were put in place requiring officers to document that both antennas were in place at the beginning and end of each shift. To guard against officers removing the antennas during their shifts, patrol supervisors are required to make unannounced checks on cars.

    McGeorge Dine with Alumni event, October 18th.

    Keith Staten will be attending McGeorge’s Dine with Alumni event on October 18th. This is a great opportunity for students to meet and speak with McGeorge alumni who work in their desired professional area. The event will be held from 6 p.m. — 9 p.m. at Sutter Club located at 1220 9th Street. RSVP on the McGeorge Alumni website or call 916.739.7141.

    Event RSVP Link

    This Saturday, Oct. 5th: Community Law Clinic at Florin High School Library

    On Saturday October 5, Keith Staten will be doing a “Know Your Rights” presentation at the Community Law Clinic, sponsored by the Florin High School Law Academy. The event will take place on campus in the library from 10 a.m. to noon. Keith will speak about your rights and the law when encountering the police. Also presenting is attorney Delonda Coleman; she will be speaking on restraining orders and domestic violence. Don’t miss this free and informative event! Download the Legal Clinic Flyer for all the information. Hope to see you there!