Headline Irony: "Former MADD Head Charged With Drunken Driving"

Let's just say the headline struck me as quite ironic.  It seems every other day MADD seems to be cramming some new piece of propaganda or legislation down our throats. 

Let me further say that this woman should be afforded the presumption of innocence and all other constitutional protections just like every other DWI and criminal defendant. 

Unfortunately and ironically, it seems that MADD has and continues to tear away at the presumption of innocence in DWI cases.  Even before a person is convicted of DWI, MADD has pushed legislators to require DWI suspects to install Ignition Interlocks in their vehicles - so much for the presumption of innocence in these cases.

HPD Vampires - Cops taking our blood against our will

An elected Harris County Criminal Court Judge and a former HPD DWI task force officer confirmed this week that HPD is in the process of training police officers to draw blood from suspects arrested for DWI / DUI.  Wow - the police are now going to be in charge of arresting citizens (normal police function) and also performing a medical procedure (not a normal police function) on a person who is presumed to be innocent (supposedly).

Is it just me, or do others find this to be an incredibly disturbing new revelation?  I expect that a person drawing my blood (for whatever reason) would have medical training and experience in dealing with the problems that might arise when drawing blood.  The police should stick to what they do - arresting people - and let medical personnel handle the taking of blood.

I'm no medical professional, but what if a citizen suffers from hemophilia or any other blood clotting disorder?  Is the cop that takes the blood going to even ask any questions before he/she sticks a needle in someone?

Unfortunately, Houston is not the only city trying to train its officers to forcibly take blood from Texas DWI suspects.  Austin is right there with Houston and there are bound to be many others.  Let me know your thoughts.

Another DWI arrest for former Texas A&M basketball coach Billy Gillispie

As has been widely reported,  former Texas A&M head basketball coach Billy Gillispie arrested for DWI / DUI in Kentucky.  Gillispie was arrested approximately 30 miles from Lexington, where he most recently coached the Kentucky basketball team.

GillispieAccording to reports, Gillispie was pulled over for after police received a call of a possibly intoxicated driver that was driving erratically.  The report states that claims he had trouble with his insurance card and that he was confused about the car locks and glove box.  The report goes on to say that Gillispie refused to volunteer for a breath test or blood test.

Gillispie, just like everyone here in Houston charged with DWI, is presumed to be innocent.  Do you think that most that begin to read this article or any other reports of his arrest really presume him to be innocent or do they just assume that because he was charged, he must be guilty?  As a Houston DWI lawyer, I unfortunately think the former is true.  Even though there is a Constitutional Presumption of Innocence, I don't think many in Houston or the rest of the United States really gives much credence to that presumption.  I firmly believe  that he has probably already been convicted in the mind of the public.

Michael Jackson and the Constitution?

I was at dinner with my family last night and saw on the MSNBC ticker that New York Representative Peter King openly criticized Michael Jackson after his death, labeling him a "pervert", "child molester" and a "pedophile."  

Today I have had the Michael Jackson Farewell on in the background and heard Houston Representative Sheila Jackson Lee speaking.  Fortunately, there are at least some in the House of Representatives that still fully understand what our Constitution means.  During her remarks, Jackson Lee paraphrased our Constitution saying, "We are innocent until proven otherwise." 

Hey Mr. King, what crime is it that Michael Jackson was found guilty of?  Oh yeah, he never was convicted of any crime.  In fact, he was acquitted in 2005 of the charges of molesting a child.  I guess that is just not good enough for you.  It sure is a good thing that our founding father's gave us the Constitution to protect our rights and that we do not rely upon lawmakers like Mr. King.  Mr. King - great forum and timing on the criticism of Michael Jackson.

Unfortunately, as a Houston DWI Attorney, I see jurors on a regular basis in my DWI cases that have similar views.  Many of these jurors believe that where there is smoke there must be fire and that because an officer arrests a suspect for DWI they must be guilty.  This is simply not true.  Based on my 12 years of lawyering experience, it is my opinion that more people are falsley accused of drunk driving, DWI and DUI than any other crime.