Saturday, February 2, 2008

California DUI Prosecuting Lawyers information

California DUI defense lawyers are protecting the constitutional
rights of those charged with a California DUI.

California DUI Prosecuting Attorneys try their best to convict people
charged with a California DUI. Here's more of their powerful influence:

California DUI Prosecuting Attorneys' Association newsletter

Vol. 12, Nos. 3 & 4 (June 30, 2007) 1
C A L I F O R N I A D I S T R I C T A T T O R N E Y S A S S O C I A T I O N


California’s Traffic Safety Resource
Prosecutor (TSRP) Program
The New Arsenal for DUI Prosecution

Audrey crashed her car into a Jack in the Box fast-food
restaurant. It was not her first time driving under the
influence, but it was her first time getting caught.
Thankfully, no one was injured. The price tag on her DUI
conviction, including property damage, was several thousand
dollars. She also spent four memorable days in jail.
According to Audrey, now an example to her friends, the
conviction changed her mindset permanently. “I don’t
recommend it. I definitely won’t risk it again,” she says.
REDUCE, RESPOND, RESOURCE
In a nationwide Gallup poll, over 90 percent of
respondents cited a jail sentence as one of the best methods to
reduce DUIs.1 This is not surprising. Like Audrey, most
people respond to consequences. A greater likelihood of
conviction is particularly effective, since it not only deters
offenders but also serves as an example to an offender’s peer
group. Prosecutors and investigators are thus in a crucial
battle in the war against DUI crimes. And the new California
Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor (TSRP) program will
provide them with the support they need to prevail.
Similar statewide TSRP programs are springing up
across the nation. In 2000, fewer than five states had a TSRP
program; now there are 28 states with plans for more.2 There
is a clear nationwide agenda to reduce traffic deaths by
combating DUI crimes, and California is building the most
comprehensive program to date.
Funding for the program was provided by a grant from
the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The grant was
awarded to the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office
with the California District Attorneys Association
implementing the program. Now that funding has arrived,
California’s TSRP program is unveiling the new arsenal for
combating DUI crimes—extensive training, expanded
resources, and expert mentoring.
BASIC TRAINING & BEYOND
The new training schedule is impressive. One-day
seminars on toxicology, collision reconstruction, search and
seizure, and other DUI-related topics will be offered. Trial
advocacy and expert testimony seminars will also be
conducted emphasizing the latest in standardized field
sobriety tests, breath testing devices, defense attorney tactics,
Murder in the Second Degree for
Multitasking Drunk Driver
W hile on duty the early morning of October 9,
2005, 29-year-old Rocklin Police Officer Matthew
Redding lost his life. Officer Redding had set up
cones to divert traffic off of a highway to assist other officers
making a felony stop. As he stood near his fully illuminated
patrol car diverting traffic with his flashlight, a truck moved
through the cone pattern, struck him, throwing him 75 feet
away, and continued on passing 12 other police vehicles.
California Highway Patrol Officers, not knowing Officer
Redding had been hit, spotted the truck driven by Eric
Dungan. Based on the extensive damage to the truck, CHP
officers believed the driver had just been involved in a hitand-
run collision. The CHP officers attempted to pull Dungan
over. Despite the officers’ attempts, Dungan did not stop until
he was 1.2 miles from the collision scene. At the time of the
traffic stop, the CHP officers learned that Officer Redding had
been struck, and immediately arrested Dungan. He was taken
to the Roseville Police Department where the officers
conducted a DUI investigation. Dungan was advised of his
Miranda rights and initially invoked those rights. During the
booking process, however, Dungan waived his rights.
Dungan was then questioned regarding his consumption
of alcohol and his evening leading up to the collision.
Members of the CHP Valley Division Multidisciplinary
Accident Investigation Team were dispatched to the collision
scene, the location of Dungan’s car, and the Roseville Police
Department. MAIT investigators processed the collision
scene, documenting and collecting more than 300 items of
physical evidence. MAIT investigators also interviewed
Dungan for 3.5 hours, the group that was with Dungan, the
employees of the establishments Dungan visited that night,
the officers present at the felony stop, and additional
witnesses.
“I WAS OK TO DRIVE”
Through their investigation, they learned that earlier that
night, Dungan began his evening with a group at a local
restaurant. He and the group then went to a local bar where
they drank some more. When the bar closed, the group went
to a private home for drinks, stopping at a gas station to
purchase additional alcohol. Dungan took a taxi back to his
truck, and although the taxi driver warned him not to, he
drove his truck. Dungan testified, “I felt like I was under the
influence, but I felt like I was OK to drive home. I hadn’t had
a drink for a while. It wasn’t very far.”1 Initially, Dungan
claimed he thought he had hit a dog, a bird, or a sign. He
continued on page 4 continued on page 5
2 CDAA Behind the Wheel
CDAA Officers
President
John R. Poyner
Colusa County
First Vice President
Bonnie Dumanis
San Diego County
Second Vice President
Gary Lieberstein
Napa County
Secretary/Treasurer
Michael A. Ramos
San Bernardino County
Sergeant-at-Arms
Robert Kochly
Contra Costa County
Past President
Gerald T. Shea
San Luis Obispo County
Board of Directors
Carl Adams
Sutter County
Phillip Cline
Tulare County
Elizabeth Egan
Fresno County
Suzanne Gazzaniga
Placer County
Karen Guidotti
San Mateo County
Kamala Harris
San Francisco County
Thomas A. Johnson
Sacramento County
William Mitchell
Riverside County
Nancy O’Malley
Alameda County
Laura Tanney
San Diego County
Glenn Yabuno
San Bernardino County
CDAA Chief Executive Officer
W. Scott Thorpe
Publications Director
Thomas P. Toller
Editor
Lauren Horwood
Research Attorney/Editor
Ann Carroll
Production Artist
Gina Kelly
CDAA’s Mission
To promote justice by enhancing
prosecutorial excellence.
continued on next page
Case Law Update
PEOPLE V. CRANE (2006) 142 CAL.APP.4TH 425 (2DCA, DIV. 6)
FACTS: Defendant admitted a prior driving-while-ability-impaired conviction in Colorado.
As a result, defendant’s sentence for a California DUI conviction was enhanced. Defendant
argued that the wrongful act in Colorado, if committed in California, would not have been a
violation and thus should not be used for sentence enhancement purposes.
HOLDING: While conviction for a DUI in California requires a person to be unable to drive
a vehicle with the same caution as a sober person, Colorado’s charge of driving while ability
impaired requires that a person’s ability to drive be slightly impaired. Since the standard for
the California statute is so much higher than the Colorado statute, defendant would not have
been convicted in California had he committed the same acts. The trial court erred in
allowing defendant’s Colorado conviction to enhance his California punishment.
GLATMAN V. VALVERDE (2006) 146 CAL.APP.4TH 700 (4DCA, DIV. 3)
FACTS: Defendant failed multiple field sobriety tests during a traffic stop for speeding. The
Sheriff-Coroner’s office conducted two tests on a blood sample taken from defendant one
hour after his arrest, resulting in BACs of 0.137 and 0.135. At an administrative hearing,
defendant objected to the DMV’s use of the forensic report. He argued that since the report
was certified by the analysts an entire week after tests, it was not “made at or near the time of
the act, condition or event” and therefore constituted hearsay. The trial court ruled that the
forensic report was inadmissible as hearsay. The DMV appealed.
HOLDING: The test for determining whether or not certifying test results after an
examination becomes hearsay is whether the time span between those two events creates a
danger of inaccuracy by lapse of memory. As the DMV offered no evidence that the bloodalcohol
content of defendant on the night of his arrest was recorded at any time prior to the
certification of the forensic report, the evidence on record suggests that the analysts had to
retain knowledge of defendant’s blood-alcohol content for a week, creating a danger of
inaccuracy by lapse of memory. Therefore, the forensic report is inadmissible as hearsay.
RITSCHEL V. CITY OF FOUNTAIN VALLEY (2006)137 CAL.APP.4TH 107 (4DCA, DIV. 3)
REVIEW DEN. MAY 17, 2006
FACTS: Defendant claimed his civil rights under federal and state law were violated when
several police officers used force to obtain a blood sample after he was arrested for driving
under the influence. An officer stopped defendant after observing him violate several traffic
laws. Defendant failed several field sobriety tests and repeatedly used his tongue to block the
breathalyzer while pretending to breathe into it. The officer finally got two readings on
defendant’s BAC—both above the legal limit. Defendant was arrested and taken to the police
station where he was not offered a choice between the blood and breath tests. After several
unsuccessful attempts to get defendant to voluntarily take a blood test, officers handcuffed
him to a chair while a technician took a blood sample.
HOLDING: The officers’ failure to comply with requirements of the state’s implied consent
law by failing to advise defendant of his testing choices did not amount to a violation of
defendant’s federal constitutional rights against unreasonable searches and seizures. The
evidence shows that police had probable cause to arrest defendant for violating traffic stops
and having a BAC well above the legal limit. Although a Fourteenth Amendment violation
might exist in cases where a state-created right is arbitrarily abrogated, this is not one of
those cases. Defendant’s rights were not violated by a suspension of driving privileges
because he failed to prove he was subjected to that statutory penalty, and at the time of the
arrest, his driving privileges were already suspended.
PEOPLE V. BELLACOSA (2007) 147 CAL.APP.4TH 868 (3DCA)
REVIEW DEN. MAY 9, 2007 (CERTIFIED FOR PARTIAL PUBLICATION)
FACTS: Defendant, who had eluded pursuing officers in California by crossing into Nevada,
was apprehended and convicted in Nevada of misdemeanor DUI and attempting to elude
officers in Nevada. Defendant was also charged in California with felony DUI and eluding a
peace officer while driving with willful and wanton disregard for the safety of persons and
June 30, 2007 3
CASE UPDATE from previous page
property. At his arraignment, defendant entered a plea of once
in jeopardy, and the magistrate dismissed the complaint
holding that the California charges were precluded by Penal
Code section 656.
HOLDING: Defendant’s convictions in Nevada for his
conduct in Nevada did not preclude his prosecution in
California for his conduct in California. California
prosecutions are barred by a prior conviction or acquittal in
another jurisdiction if the same physical acts are necessary for
conviction in each jurisdiction. If the offense charged in
another jurisdiction requires proof of physical acts different
from the physical acts that constitute the offense charged in
California, then the California prosecution is not barred.
Defendant’s conduct in California stopped at the border. In
California, defendant drove under the influence of alcohol
while evading a California peace officer, while in Nevada, he
drove while intoxicated and tried to elude Nevada peace
officers. The conduct at issue in California was not at issue in
Nevada, and thus precluded the application of the prior
conviction or acquittal defense.
PEOPLE V. PERDOMO (2006) 147 CAL.APP.4TH 605
(2DCA, DIV. 7) REVIEW DEN. MAY 9, 2007
FACTS: Defendant crashed his car into a concrete divider on
the freeway after a night of drinking. Defendant and one
passenger were seriously injured; the other was killed in the
collision. Four days after the accident, officers interviewed
defendant in the hospital. During a 20-minute recorded
interview, defendant initially lied to the police, telling them
he had not been driving, and then later admitted he was the
driver. Defendant moved to exclude the inculpatory
statements made during the interview. The court found that
defendant’s statements were voluntary, and the jury went on
to convict defendant of felony vehicular manslaughter while
intoxicated, driving under the influence of alcohol resulting in
bodily injury to a person other than the driver, and driving
with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent or greater resulting
in bodily injury to a person other than the driver.
HOLDING: Statements made to the officers while defendant
was sedated and recovering in the hospital were voluntary. In
order to determine whether a statement is voluntary, the court
must examine the “uncontradicted facts surrounding the
making of the statements to determine … whether the
prosecution met its burden and proved that the statements
were … given without previous inducement, intimidation or
threat.” (Citations omitted.) Defendant never asked for the
20-minute interview to end, the audiotape suggests that the
police officers were quiet and calm in their questioning, and
defendant was alert enough to attempt to deceive the officers
and provide the name of his employer and his work phone
number. Nothing in the record suggests the police officers
overcame or subdued defendant’s will in any way.
Defendant’s statements to the police, although from a hospital
bed, were completely voluntary.
Legislative Update
Set forth below are summaries reflecting the current
language and status of selected legislation from the
2007 legislative session that is relevant to investigating
and prosecuting individuals who drive under the influence. To
access any of the bills in full-text format, log on to
California’s official Web site for legislative information
(www.leginfo.ca.gov).
ACTIVE BILLS
AB 808 (Parra) – Signed Declaration
Adds Vehicle Code section 13385, which would require all
driver’s license application and renewal forms to include a
requirement that the applicant sign a declaration regarding the
potential dangers of driving under the influence and the
potential charges that could result from killing a person as a
result of driving under the influence. Status: Hearing in the
Senate Transportation and Housing Committee on July 3,
2007.
AB 1165 (Maze) – DUI Probation
Adds Vehicle Code section 23154, which would make it
unlawful for a person who is on probation for a violation of
section 23152 or 23153 to operate a motor vehicle at any time
with a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.01 percent or greater.
Status: Hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee on
July 10, 2007.
TWO-YEAR BILLS
AB 247 (Gaines) – Vehicular Manslaughter Committed by a
Minor While Intoxicated
Amends Welfare and Institutions Code section 707 to add
vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated to the list of
enumerated crimes for which a minor 14 years of age or older
can be tried as an adult. Status: Failed passage in the
committee. Reconsideration granted.
AB 1198 (Benoit) – Local Government Response Costs
Adds Penal Code section 53150.5, which would authorize
local government entities to recover the reasonable costs of
responding to a person operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Status: Held on submission in committee.
AB 1416 (Runner) – Child Endangerment
Amends Penal Code section 237a to expand the crime of
child endangerment to a situation where an operator of a
motor vehicle violates Vehicle Code section 23152 or 23153,
and a child is a passenger in that vehicle at the time of the
violation. The punishment for such a violation would be
imprisonment in a county jail for not less than 90 days nor
more than one year or by imprisonment in state prison for
two, four, or six years. Status: Failed passage in committee.
Reconsideration granted.
4 CDAA Behind the Wheel
and newly developed prosecutorial courtroom strategies.
Each training seminar will cover a single DUI-related topic
and host a DUI prosecutors’ roundtable. These seminars will
be held in each of the five TSRP geographic areas and will
emphasize strategies that have had a high record of success in
California. In addition to the seminar training schedule, there
will be a two and one-half day DUI intensive training course
offered annually and a one-time special training event to
enable prosecutors to become familiar with the California
Highway Patrol’s members and resources.
WEAPONS OF MASS INSTRUCTION
Greater resource accessibility will complement the
trainings. All TSRP training materials will be distributed as a
CD-ROM and as a podcast for those who want to review the
materials or who could not make it to
the seminar. Resource databanks will
also be available throughout the
state, with one large, central resource
bank at CDAA’s Sacramento office.
These resource banks will contain
relevant pleadings, case law digests,
legal writings, and scientific data.
Additionally, there will soon be an
interactive Web site exclusively for
DUI prosecutors. This site will
include the latest in case law developments, technical and
issue-based developments, and notices of upcoming seminars
and other training opportunities. It will also contain lists of
forensic DUI experts, collision reconstruction experts, mentor
prosecutors, physicians, and toxicologists. Finally, the site
will be interactive, providing DUI prosecutors an online
forum to communicate with one another. In addition to the
Web site’s myriad resources, a quarterly newsletter related to
DUI enforcement and prosecution will be published for
prosecutors and court personnel.
BOOTS ON THE GROUND
Perhaps most importantly, one specially trained and
experienced DUI prosecutor will be assigned to each of the
five regions: Northern California, the Central Valley, the
Inland Empire, Southern California, and the Coastal Region.
Each regional TSRP will be dedicated solely to the TSRP
program and the task of guiding and mentoring local
prosecutors. The TSRPs will personally contact every DUI
prosecutor within their region to discuss the program, and
will work with those prosecutors to implement a vertical
prosecution program involving DUI cases where the
defendant did not have a driver’s license or the defendant’s
driver’s license was suspended or revoked. Finally, TSRP
mentors will be available to field urgent questions on DUI
issues and, under certain circumstances, provide courtroom
support.
CDAA is currently seeking highly qualified individuals
to staff the program, including the expert TSRPs. In the
meantime, DUI prosecutors should contact TSRP Director
Creg Datig or, for those in the Central Valley—that region’s
TSRP—Stewart Hicks, for those in San Diego and the Inland
Empire TSRP Dan Hicks (see the end of this article for
contact info).
The three-faceted arsenal of the TSRP Program—
extensive training, expanded resources, and expert
mentoring—will both decrease DUI crimes in the long run
and support the administration of justice in general.
Increasing conviction rates translates into arresting more
guilty offenders and administering the just consequences. The
value of such consequences is evident—motorists like Audrey
will no longer crash into fast-food
joints as a result of drinking and
driving. But more importantly,
heightened enforcement and
consequences will foster a culture
where people think twice before
getting behind the wheel under the
influence in the first place. More
convictions result in fewer future
DUI offenders. That is why TSRP
programs are springing up across
United States. And with the most comprehensive program in
the nation, California is prepared to lead the way.
Creg Datig: (951) 342-3322, cdatig2@cdaa.org
Stewart Hicks: (559) 488-3046, stewart.hicks@ca-tsrp.org
Daniel Fox: (619) 531-4042, dan.fox@ca-tsrp.org
Mason Winters is a graduating senior at San Diego State
University and an intern for CDAA’s Publications Department. Mr.
Winters will embark on his law school career this fall at the
University of California, Los Angeles School of Law.
Endnotes:
1. The Gallup Organization, Drinking and Driving in
America (2005) MADDNationwideGallupSurvey_DrunkDriving_2005.pdf>
[as of May 7, 2007].
2. Thomas Robertson, NAPC and NDAA—A Growing
Partnership, The Prosecutor 40, no. 5 (2006) www.ndaa.org/publications/ndaa/
napc_ndaa_sept_oct_2006.html> [as of May 7, 2007].
TSRP continued from page 1
TSRP mentors will be
available to field urgent
questions on DUI issues.
June 30, 2007 5
ultimately admitted that he saw Officer Redding in the
roadway with his hands outstretched and thought, “What is he
doing here?” He continued to drive from the collision scene
because “he just wanted to go home.” Forensics experts
estimated Dungan’s BAC of 0.18 would result after about 15
drinks during the evening. At the time of the collision,
Dungan was wearing iPod headphones, sending a text
message to a friend, and “looking up occasionally,” according
to his testimony.
Before the night of the collision, Dungan had been
stopped once on suspicion of drunken driving. While in the
Air Force, Dungan attended hundreds of weekly safety
sessions where he and the other attendees were cautioned
about the dangers of drinking and driving.
WHAT TO CHARGE?
After receiving the MAIT investigation report, the Placer
County District Attorney’s Office had to decide what charges
to file. If they were to file under Penal Code § 187, they
would have to prove implied malice. The evaluation led to
some disturbing facts:
• Dungan was a multitasking drunk driver with a
BAC of 0.18
• he was educated regarding DUIs while in the military
• he had personal experiences with DUI
• his BAC indicated he had consumed at least 15 drinks
• he disregarded the cab driver’s warnings
• at the timing of the warnings, Dungan had a cab
• he left the victim for dead and was stopped more than
one mile away after driving past 12 other police
vehicles.
After taking these facts into consideration, the DA’s
Office concluded that Dungan had intentionally acted, the
natural consequence of the act was dangerous to life, he knew
his act was dangerous to life, and he deliberately acted with
conscious disregard for human life.
Dungan was charged with second-degree murder, gross
vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, and an allegation
of fleeing the scene. The defense argued that the case was
about the degree being charged. They claimed Dungan was
guilty of vehicular manslaughter—not second-degree murder.
NEUTRALIZING THE DEFENSE
In preparation for the trial, the DA investigator assigned
to the case interviewed and re-interviewed more than 60
witnesses with the prosecutors. Through their investigation,
they were able to neutralize key defense witnesses, including
the defense expert toxicologist. These witnesses never took
the stand. As a result, the only witness the defense called was
the defendant. It was also discovered that Dungan had been
drinking to intoxication while out on bail. His bail was
revoked as a result.
At trial, Placer County Deputy District Attorneys Dan
Gong and Joe Hoffmann were able to admit evidence of the
extensive training the defendant received in the Air Force
about the dangers of driving under the influence, defendant’s
prior incidents of driving under the influence (People v.
Garcia (1995) 41 Cal.App.4th 1832), three warnings—only
seconds before Dungan turned the key—to not drive due to
his intoxication, and his prior experiences with other vehicle
injury accidents involving alcohol. They were able to show
how the defendant’s behavior changed as he consumed more
alcohol through the evening. A taped interview of Dungan
after the collision was shown.
Dungan’s untruthful statement to the news media was
admissible (Consciousness of Guilt, CALCRIM 362) as was
evidence of Dungan fleeing the scene because it was relevant
and admissible to prove implied malice (Evid. Code
§ 1101(b); People v. Ward (1968) 266 Cal.App.2d 241). Even
though the defense was willing to stipulate, a photograph of
Officer Redding was admitted to prove the identity of the
victim (People v. Boyette (2002) 29 Cal.4th 381). Hoffmann
also contacted CDAA TSRP Director Creg Datig for input.
Gong and Hoffmann used visual presentations, including
many MAIT diagrams.
WANTON DISREGARD FOR LIFE
Deputy District Attorneys Dan Gong and Joe Hoffmann
pointed out the wanton disregard for life Dungan displayed
that night and the many lies he had told since. Dungan had
repeatedly been told of the effects of drinking and driving; a
cab driver warned him that night that the condition he was in
would impair his ability to drive; and he was wearing
headphones and sending text messages while driving. After
six hours of deliberations, the jury agreed and convicted
Dungan of second-degree murder on March 14, 2007. On
April 26, 2007, Dungan was sentenced to 15 years to life in
prison.
Information for this article was taken from presentations by CHP
Officer David Dowty of the Valley Division MAIT Team and Placer
County Deputy District Attorney Joe Hoffmann at CDAA’s Vehicular
Homicide Seminar in May 2007. Thank you Dave and Joe.
Endnotes:
1. “Fatal Cop Crash Defendant Testifies,” News 10, www.news10.net/
printfullstory.aspx?storyid=25223, 3/12/2007.
Additional tidbits:
• In the last ten years: 146 law enforcement officers
nationwide have died after being struck by a vehicle
while outside their own vehicle; 471 law enforcement
officers died in vehicle accidents; and 71 law
enforcement officers died in motorcycle accidents.
• Approximately 220 officers nationwide have been killed
in automobile or motorcycle accidents caused by drunk
drivers. An additional 210 officers were killed by drunk
drivers while standing outside their vehicles. Within the
CHP, 36 officers have been fatally struck by vehicles
while on roadsides since 1938. In the last two years
alone, three of the seven fallen officers died in that
manner and two died after their vehicle was struck.
Sacramento Bee 3/14/07 (A risky routine for officers: Traffic stops, by Kim
Minugh)
SECOND DEGREE continued from page 1
California District Attorneys Association
731 K Street, Third Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814-3402
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Behind the Wheel is published quarterly, and made possible by Grant
Number LT 0407-1059 the California Governor’s Office of
Emergency Services, Criminal Justice Programs Division and
supported by Grant Number 2003–DB–BX–0013, awarded by the
Edward Byrne Fund, U.S. Department of Justice. Funding for this
publication was also provided by a grant from the California Office of
Traffic Safety through the Business, Transportation & Housing
Agency. The opinions, findings, and conclusions herein are those of
the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of CDAA, OES, OTS
and/or the U.S. Department of Justice. CDAA, OES, OTS, and the
U.S. Department of Justice reserve a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and
irrevocable license to reproduce, publish, and use the materials
contained in this publication and to authorize others to do so.
T he California District Attorneys Association presented
its Vehicular Homicide Seminar on May 15–18, 2007
in San Diego.
We are fortunate to have stellar core instructors who
never cease to amaze the attendees and are eager to hang
around and answer any questions.
The course began with CDAA’s own TSRP Director
Creg Datig giving an overview of Vehicular Homicide. Here,
Creg provided information on charging considerations,
common defenses, and gross vs. simple negligence. Just
watching Creg instruct, it is clear why he was given CDAA’s
2003 Instructor of the Year Award. And with 20 vehicular
murder convictions under his belt, there is no doubt that he
knows what he’s talking about.
After Creg left the audience speechless with his vast
knowledge of the subject area, we brought in nationally
recognized collision reconstructionist expert John
Kwasnoski. John has a unique way of answering the
questions, “Why do I need to know this?” and “What do
those equations mean?” that leaves his audience wanting to
get the next defense collision report in order to debunk it.
We began the second day with Drug Recognition Expert
Consultant Tom Page. Tom is retired from the Los Angeles
Police Department and was instrumental in the development
of the DRE program that was made into a statewide program
through the California Highway Patrol. Tom showed the
attendees how to prove impairment in drug vehicular
homicides, which can be difficult.
Creg followed with a section on Trial Tactics, which
included cross-examination of experts. This year, we
included a section on Dealing with the Media. Public
Information Officers Lana Wyatt (Riverside County) and
Susan Mickey (San Bernardino County) provided great
pointers for handling the media in these and other types of
cases.
For the first time, we included a case scenario group
workshop. With Creg giving a direct examination of a defense
expert, played by John, each group was tasked with crossexamining
him on a different issue. The groups were so
excited to try and trip John up that many worked through
their break. The exercise was great and the attendees were
able to learn a lot from John, who played the part very well.
The final day, we heard from Sergeant Dean
Reichenberg, of the California Highway Patrol. Dean gave an
update of the Traffic Accident Reconstruction Specialist
Program and some exciting new technology the CHP will be
using in their Multidisciplinary Accident Investigation Team
(MAIT) offices.
Wrapping up the seminar, we brought in San Diego
County Deputy District Attorney Blaine Bowman who gave a
case profile of a vehicular manslaughter case he handled and
the difficulties that arose during that trial. Placer County
Deputy District Attorney and CHP MAIT Officer David
Dowty profiled a vehicular homicide case (see article on
page 1). This section of case studies allowed the attendees to
see the different ways what they have learned throughout the
seminar can practically be applied.
If we missed you at the seminar this year, we’ll be
bringing it back next year. In fact, we will be holding a oneday
Driving Under the Influence Prosecutions Seminar in
April 2008 in San Diego and a one-day DUI Toxicology
Seminar, which will preceed the Vehicular Homicide Seminar
in June 2008 in South Lake Tahoe, California. Check the
Training Schedule due for release in late August for details
and additionally scheduled programs. Also check the TSRP
Web site for topics and dates of the regional trainings
(www.cdaa.org/tsrp/index.asp).