Aurora Police Experiment with Electronic Ticketing

Aurora Police Experiment with Electronic TicketingSpeeding motorists in Aurora who are speeding will soon be part of an expanded electronic ticketing department. The Aurora Police Department is soon likely to begin using an electronic ticketing system that will allow police officers to hand over citations using electronic devices.

These electronic citation devices are designed as scanners that police officers can use to hold the hand, and swipe over a motorist’s driver’s license. That information immediately gets uploaded to a ticket and if the motorist wants a printed ticket, the ticket can still be printed out on a wireless printer that is mounted on the motorcycle.  In fact, the scanner can also be used to immediately give the motorist a court date for the offense.

The Police Department’s 11 motorcycles are likely to be fitted with the wireless printer. According to the department, the device will streamline the citations process that is currently in place. Under the current system, a police officer has to write down citations which are then handed over at the end of his shift. All of that information has to be manually typed into the system. The scanner reduces much of that workload, and information will be immediately updated

The Police Department has chosen the motorcycle team to experiment with the program because motorcycle officers seem to have the highest amount of contact with public. The department will analyze the success of the program. If the technology is found to be efficient and accurate, the department is likely to expand electronic citation technology to all officers, and eventually all traffic units in the department. The department also believes that the number of errors that creep in when police officers give citations will be dramatically minimized with the use of this technology.

Traffic offenses may seem minor to you but these can have severe, long-term repercussions. For instance, if you have accumulated more than the maximum number of points on your driver’s license, you could actually have your license suspended. Even simple traffic offenses can result in fines, and restrictions on your license. For more severe offenses, you could face a revoked license, and could end up paying higher monthly insurance premiums on your policy. If you have been cited for traffic violations, discuss your defense with a Denver traffic offense lawyer.

Colorado’s Pot Laws Lead to Increasing DUIs

Colorado's Pot Laws Lead to Increasing DUIsThere seems to have been a mixed response to the legalization of marijuana in Colorado. On the one hand, administration officials say that business is up and crime is definitely down. On the other hand, toxic detox centers claim that there has been an increase in the number of DUI admissions that involve pot use.

According to industry officials, since marijuana was made legal in Colorado, the state has experienced an economic boom. Over the first four months after legalization alone, sales of recreational marijuana led to approximately $11 million in tax revenue. State officials also claim a higher demand for real estate in Colorado since the marijuana laws went into place.  At least 10,000 people are currently employed in the marijuana business in Colorado.

Besides, crime has dropped. Regardless of fears to the contrary, it also does not seem that marijuana shops are serving or selling to minors. A number of undercover operations found that not even one marijuana business sold marijuana to a minor.

However, there also seems to have been a negative effect of the legalization of marijuana. According to detox centers, there has been an increase in the number of Colorado DUI admissions linked to marijuana use. According to the centers, last year, at least 8% of the admissions into the detox centers were those accused of driving while under the influence of pot.  That number increased to 15% in 2014. There have also been incidents related to pot ingestion by children. According to the Children’s Hospital Colorado, since the legalization of marijuana in the state, it has treated 11 children who became ill after ingesting edible marijuana. In six of the cases, the children became critically ill.

Overall however, the positives seem to override the negatives. The law is only six months old, and as people become much more comfortable with the thought of easier access to marijuana for recreational use, many of these minor quibbles are also likely to be ironed out. Marijuana-related DUI is on the rise, and we have the poor Colorado laws related to marijuana DUI to blame for that. There are differences in the way different people metabolize marijuana, and the law for pot-related DUI simply does not take these into consideration.

Colorado Ignition Interlock Laws for DUI

Colorado Ignition Interlock Laws for DUIAn ignition interlock device is a device that is specifically designed to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s system. The device is a common part of DUI penalty programs in many states, and makes it impossible for persons to drive a vehicle if they have more than the maximum legally permissible mount of alcohol in their system. It is often used as a penalty, for persons, who have been convicted of certain DUI offenses.

The device will take a sample of your breath, and will detect the amount of alcohol in your breath.  If it detects that the amount is much more than a preset limit on the device, it will prevent the vehicle from starting. The ignition will shut down, and you will no longer be able to operate the vehicle. Besides, you may also be required to provide periodic breath tests while you are driving, in order to maintain negative results.

Under Colorado law, you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle, if you meet the following criteria.

You have been convicted of a first DUI per se, with a blood-alcohol content or .15 or greater. This is a part of the new law.  Before 1 July 2014, the limit was .17 or above. In these cases, the interlock requirement is for two years.

You have been convicted of a second per se lifetime DUI conviction.  This penalty comes with a two-year interlock period.

You have been convicted of a third class per se or DUI ( lifetime.) Here too, the ignition requirement is two years.

Some cases of alcohol test refusal could also mandate that you get an ignition interlock device installed in your car.

Make no mistake. Getting an interlock device installed in your car can be expensive. The cost can range from between $800-$1000 per year. Besides, you will be required to get the ignition device installed in all of their vehicles. That includes not just cars that you own, but even those that you co-own, or are allowed to operate.

Is the College Sexual Assault Crisis Being Blown Out Of Proportion?

Is the College Sexual Assault Crisis Being Blown Out Of Proportion?A piece in The Daily Beast asks the question – are college sexual assault numbers being inflated? According to the statistics that are currently being used even by the White House as part of its campaign against sexual assault on campus, as many as one in five women on college campuses are subjected to sexual assault. However, earlier studies have indicated a number that is closer to one in 40.

Many experts now believe that the one in 5 statistic that is being bandied about by feminist groups and other supporters of stronger campus rape laws, is possibly inflated. That data comes from a study which was conducted in 2007 by the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. The study involved a group of young college students between the age of 18 and 25, who were each given Amazon gift certificates of $10 to participate in the study. This data is hardly conclusive or reliable.

Advocates, who have been calling for stronger campus sexual assault laws in order to deal with what they believe is an epidemic of rape on college campuses, claim that inaccuracy in numbers makes no difference, and that there is a rape crisis to be concerned about. However, that is not true at all. When you inflate numbers, you create an environment in which colleges and universities are pressurized to take poorly-thought out actions that could actually come close to infringing on people’s rights.

Already, in far too many cases, rape charges are being filed in cases where the sex was clearly consensual. Very often, these charges are filed as a result of a sexual misunderstanding. False accusations of rape are nothing new, and have been around for years, but over the past few years, there has been a campaign to change the definitions of “consent”  and other important rape-related terms to become very restrictive. That means a very real risk that students may be wrongly accused of these crimes.

Rape is a one of the most serious of all crimes. A conviction could possibly destroy a person’s employment prospects, further education opportunities and his personal and social relationships. The term “rapist” unfortunately is being used far too often, and applies too often to college students who were given the impression that the female was in favor of a sexual encounter.

Pot Breathalyzer to Detect Marijuana Content

Pot Breathalyzer to Detect Marijuana ContentBlood testing to detect the amount of marijuana in a person’s system have is widely believed to be unreliable. However, currently, such blood, hair and saliva tests are all that law enforcement officers depend on to determine whether a motorist has consumed marijuana before driving. Now, a Canadian company has announced that it is working on a breathalyzer to detect the amount of marijuana in a person’s system using breath tests.

The breathalyzer is being developed by Canadian technology company West Point Resources. It is called the Cannabix breathalyzer, and it is very similar to the handheld breathalyzer device that is currently used for determining the amount of alcohol in a person’s system. This handheld device  will be able to predict accurately within minutes if a person has consumed marijuana over the past two or three hours. The device can be used to support the observations of police officers at the site.

According to the company, the device will become popular among law enforcement agencies, because blowing into a device is not as unacceptable to motorists  as giving up saliva or blood samples for a test. Besides, the current tests for determining whether a person has high marijuana content in his system are expensive, time-consuming and cumbersome. The device is currently in the prototype stage, and more reviews and analysis will be conducted before we have a final version.

However, the lack of a breathalyzer device that can reliably measure marijuana content of blood is not the only obstacle to fair marijuana DUI laws in Colorado. It’s not just a matter of having a convenient tool that can effectively and efficiently measure alcohol content. It is also the fact that there’s plenty of disagreement on what should constitute the maximum permissible limit of marijuana content.

In Colorado, under the law, the maximum legally permissible limit for marijuana in a person’s system is 5 ng per milliliter of blood. However, in many states, it is 2nanograms per milliliter of blood,. Many experts believe that a more acceptable level would be 10 nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood.

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana in Denver, speak with a DUI attorney.

Brain Injury Linked to Higher Risk of Committing Homicide

Brain Injury Linked to Higher Risk of Committing HomicideAccording to the results of a study, neurological disorders, including conditions arising after a head injury, are linked to a much higher risk of homicide and serial murders.

The study was published recently, and specifically looked at the statistical incidence of multiple murders and serial murders. According to the researchers, their findings indicate that a significant proportion of serial killers or mass murderers suffer from conditions like autism spectrum disorder, or have suffered a brain injury in their past.

Out of the 239 serial killers/mass murderers who were analyzed as part of the study, 28.3% had definite highly probable or possible autism spectrum disorder. Besides, 21.3 had suffered a head injury. Out of the 106 persons who suffered either from a head injury or from autism spectrum disorder, 55% had experienced severe psychosocial stressors, like physical or sexual abuse during childhood.

“Mass murder” is the killing of three or more victims in a short period of time. A person who is accused of murder is accused of murdering just one person with or without any premeditation. However, a mass murderer kills more than three persons, over a short period of time, like a few hours or days. The researchers also analyzed serial killers, who murder victims over a period of time like weeks, or months. Serial killers take some amount of time off between each murder.  The research also found the presence of psychosocial triggers like physical or sexual abuse in childhood in these persons.

In an earlier study, researchers had found that as many as 48% of a group of 60 serial killers had been subjected to childhood rejection by a parent. Other research has also concluded that persons, who have been subjected to physical, emotional or sexual abuse as children, were three times more likely to engage in violent acts as adults, compared to those who were not subjected to such abuse during childhood.

Other characteristics that could trigger a person’s risk for violent crimes include early adoption, feelings of abandonment and neglect during early childhood, or exposure to violent parents.

Research that links autism and homicide is controversial, and autism advocacy groups have rejected any association between the condition and criminal activity.

Juvenile Justice: Widespread Ethnic, Racial Disparities

Juvenile Justice: Widespread Ethnic, Racial DisparitiesThe results of a study indicate that racial and ethnic disparities in arrest and conviction rates of juveniles, don’t just exist, but are widespread.

The report by the Sentencing Project is titled Disproportionate Minority Contract in the Juvenile Justice System, and finds that the justice system is severely threatened by racial as well as ethnicity-based disparities and discrimination that impact the credibility of the system. Not only are youth of color being arrested at much higher rates, but there is also discrimination against these people at every step of the system that follows right through to conviction and placement rates.

This is not the first time that researchers have tried to link racial and ethnic discrimination with failures of the juvenile justice system. In 2002, a review found that negative effects of race existed at one or more steps of the juvenile justice process. The statistics speak for themselves. According to the data, in 2010, black American youth who accounted for approximately 17% of all juveniles in the country, accounted for a disproportionate 31% of all arrests. What is distressing is that those rates have changed little over the decades. These rates have stayed stable, even as the overall rate of juvenile crimes has dropped. Even as the number of detentions has dropped, the number of high arrest rates involving people of color continues to remain the same. Similar statistics can also be seen among Latino youth, but there is little clear and established data on ethnic disparities in juvenile arrests.

Even when black juveniles are arrested, they are much more likely to be referred to juvenile court, compared to white juveniles. They are much more likely to be processed through the criminal justice system compared to white juveniles, and are much less likely to be diverted. They are also more likely to be sentenced to secure confinement, and ultimately more likely to be transferred to adult prison facilities.

The report finds that racial disparities flourish at almost every step of the process. From a peak in 1996, the rates have dropped by as much as 50%. However, the rate of African-American youth who were being arrested continues to remain the same. African-Americans in this country are twice as likely as white Americans to be arrested.

How to Avoid a DUI Arrest

How to Avoid a DUI ArrestThe easiest way for you to avoid a DUI arrest is obviously to avoid driving after you have had a few alcoholic beverages.

However, not everyone has the capacity to determine whether the number of drunks that they have had could seriously place them at risk of being arrested for DUI.  Additionally, there are a number of other factors besides the number of alcoholic drinks that you have had, that ultimately determine your alcohol intoxication levels. The kind of food that you ate with your drinks, the timing of your last drink, your weight, gender and other factors can determine whether you will register at.08% or more on an alcohol test.

Very often, persons don’t know how much alcohol a person of their size and weight must consume to get close to the legally permissible blood-alcohol level. The number is much lower than you think.  An average-sized person only needs to drink about three beverages to get drunk and cross the legal threshold.

Apart from not driving while drunk, there are other things that you can do to reduce your chances of being pulled over. If you have consumed alcohol before driving, drive responsibly. Obey all traffic laws. Avoid speeding, and avoid other forms of reckless behavior. Stay in your lane. Remember, officers look for these signs, and can pull you over if they find signs of reckless or erratic driving.

Make sure that your vehicle is not damaged. If your car recently sustained damage as a result of a minor accident, get the damage fixed.

Remove any beer cans or containers of alcohol from your car.

Remember, you do not have to take an alcohol test if you are pulled over by a police officer. Avoid talking too much, and under no circumstance, admit to having had “just a couple of drinks.” The officer isn’t going to let you drive off if you admit that – he will only ask you to step out of the car.

Summer is when DUI enforcement across Colorado increases dramatically. Officers will be on the streets ready to pull motorists who they suspect of driving under the influence of alcohol. Expect more checkpoints as zero-tolerance campaigns kickoff.  Even if you do not find yourself intoxicated, or do not show any physical signs of intoxication, don’t assume that you will clear any alcohol test that is administered.

Four Colorado Schools Involved in Campus Sexual Assault Investigation

Four Colorado Schools Involved in Campus Sexual Assault InvestigationEarlier this year, the White House announced the establishment of a task force specifically dedicated to encouraging colleges and universities around the countries to handle sexual assault cases on their campus more effectively. At least four Colorado schools are believed to be involved in the ongoing investigation into whether campuses did all that they could handle these complaints, and investigate them thoroughly.

The Colorado schools include the UC Boulder, Regis University and the University of Denver. They are among colleges across the country believed to have sexual harassment and violence cases that have not been resolved. According to the Department of Education, which released the list of colleges that have not yet resolved such cases, the list has been released to discuss this critical issue. However, the Department of Education insists that just because the colleges are mentioned on the list does not mean that they have necessarily done anything wrong.

Among the schools on the list, Colorado seems to have some of the highest numbers of colleges with unresolved sexual violence and sexual harassment cases. Several other states also had four schools on the list, while only Massachusetts and Pennsylvania had more than four schools on the list. These schools which have been included in the investigation have released a statement saying that they are cooperating with the investigation.

Some of those complaints against these colleges involve allegations that they allowed male students back on campus, even after they were found guilty of sexual assaults and rapes on campus. Regis University made it to the list because of a complaint related to allegations of sexual abuse made back in 2011.

The federal administration is increasing pressure on colleges and universities to take stringent action when students complain about sexual assault on campus. Although this increasingly outraged climate addresses a definite problem of sexual abuse, sex crime and rape on campus, those valid concerns must not completely override concerns about defendant rights.  As any Denver criminal defense lawyer, the fact is that very often sexual assault crimes that occur on campus are based on very flimsy evidence. In most cases, the accuser remembers very little about what actually happened, and alcohol and drugs are involved in many of these cases.

How Can a Police Officer Influence your Breathalyzer Reading?

How Can a Police Officer Influence your Breathalyzer Reading?It is a situation that every motorist dreads. Being pulled over by a police officer for DUI can be intimidating. If you believe that you are safe just because you have had a couple of alcohol beverages and are confident that you will clear the breathalyzer test, you may not be entirely right. There are ways that a police officer can influence your breathalyzer reading, without you even knowing it.

How can the officer do this? What he does is manipulate your pattern of breathing as he is administering the breathalyzer test. It is scientifically proven that the concentration of alcohol in your breath changes considerably during the breath. The first part of the breath is likely to contain the least concentration of alcohol. In fact, at this stage, you are very likely to register below the .08% level. However, as you begin to inhale more deeply, you’re much more likely to be in dangerous territory. The last part of your breath actually contains a higher concentration of alcohol.

A police officer knows this, and may ask you while you are taking the breathalyzer test to breathe harder. If you breathe deeper and harder, the breathalyzer is likely to detect more traces of alcohol in the last part of your breath. You are therefore much more likely to fail the breathalyzer test or register at or above the .08% level.

That means that you’re possibly looking at a DUI arrest, even though you may not be intoxicated at all. It’s highly likely that you will be very confused at such a time, especially because you do not believe that the number of alcoholic beverages that you had were sufficient for you to register at the maximum permissible limit.

Just because you have registered at the maximum permissible level or higher on a breathalyzer does not mean that a conviction is guaranteed. The first thing that you need to do when you have been arrested for DUI is immediately get in touch with a Denver DUI defense lawyer.