Neil S. Ruskin

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October 2015 Archives

Can being a spoiled child become a DUI defense?

You may remember the 2013 DUI case that led a defense attorney to claim 'affluenza' as the cause of a then 16-year-old's reason for driving drunk, a decision that killed four and left one seriously injured.  The teen, a son of two wealthy business owners, testified that his parents knew of his drinking and partying and never told him no. In essence, he didn't know any better because he had always experienced privilege and didn't think the rules applied to him. For this teen, the claim of 'affluenza' worked, and what could have been a hefty prison sentence was whittled down to 10 years probation. So the question remains, can being a spoiled child become a DUI defense? Of course it can.

Is retrograde extrapolation junk science?

Criminal investigators and forensic scientists use a technique called retrograde extrapolation to estimate blood alcohol levels in individuals facing drunken driving or vehicular homicide charges. This technique has been used for years and is responsible for countless DUI convictions. However, this forensic technique has come under fire in recent months for its unreliable approximation of a person's intoxication.

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