"A trial on a charge of driving while intoxicated may raise constitutional issues"


A trial on a charge of driving while intoxicated may raise constitutional issues, such as whether there was probable cause for the arrest, whether adequate warnings were given to the suspect as to his rights, whether there was an intelligent waiver of rights, whether there was duress sufficient to raise a defense of self-incrimination, and whether there might have been a violation of equal protection and due process guarantees. The various constitutional questions noted above are necessarily left largely unanswered, because few of such questions have been satisfactorily answered by the courts in the context of prosecutions for driving while intoxicated. Decisions of the United States Supreme Court on these constitutional issues have been rendered in cases involving felonies such as murder, burglary, theft, and possession of narcotics, but the application of such decisions to driving-while-intoxicated cases are not always clear in most instances.

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Published In: Criminal Law Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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Kevin Hagan
Attorney at Law

Kevin O. Hagan, Esq. is an attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts with an office... View Profile »

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