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July 2017 Archives

What are leading questions in criminal trials?

Washington residents who are facing criminal charges and who plan to go to trial may have heard about leading questions and wonder what they are. These are questions that are asked by criminal defense lawyers of witnesses at certain times during the trial. Leading questions are designed to elicit responses from the witnesses by leading them to the answers. In many cases, the answer to a leading question will either be yes or no.

Study shows an increase in marijuana-influenced driving

Within seven years, the number of pot-influenced drivers throughout Washington and the rest of the U.S. rose by 50 percent. This is based on information from the 2013-2014 National Roadside Survey of Alcohol & Drug Use by Drivers. The survey also found that from 1973 to 2014, the number of drivers who tested positive for alcohol decreased by 77 percent.

Researchers working on marijuana breathalyzer

While driving under the influence of THC is illegal even in states like Washington that allow the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, there is currently no reliable way for police officers to determine whether or not a motorist is impaired by the metabolite. The results of roadside breath tests and standardized field sobriety tests are generally reliable because alcohol affects the human body in very predictable ways, and blood alcohol levels can be scientifically linked to degrees of impairment in casual as well as heavy drinkers. However, traces of THC linger in the blood for days or weeks after marijuana has been consumed, and habitual users can develop high tolerances to the drug.

DUI charges hit celebrity basketball coach

A conviction on DUI charges can carry heavy penalties, even for first-time offenders and famous drivers who run into difficulties on the road. Seattle pro basketball fans might remember Derek Fisher, the former coach of the New York Knicks. He is now facing charges of driving under the influence following an early June auto accident. Fisher and his passenger were driving on U.S. Route 101 through the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles when his car hit the concrete curb area of the shoulder and then collided with the guardrail. After the collision, the car overturned and rested on its roof. No one was injured in the accident, although the flipped car blocked two lanes of highway traffic.

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