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Author: Micah Schwartzbach

Georgia Supreme Court: DUI Suspects Have the Right to Refuse Breath Tests

Georgia Supreme Court: DUI Suspects Have the Right to Refuse Breath Tests

The United States Constitution provides everyone in the country with certain rights. States have their own constitutions, which can provide people in those jurisdictions with additional—or broader—rights. That dynamic is why, on October 16, Georgia became somewhat of an exception in the realm of DUI law. Right Against Self-Incrimination The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides a right against forced self-incrimination. So does Paragraph XVI of the Georgia Constitution. In Olevik v. State, the Georgia Supreme proved that it interprets…

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Another Court Rules in Favor of Freedom to Record the Police

Another Court Rules in Favor of Freedom to Record the Police

In a February 2016 decision, a federal judge broke from all the other courts in the country that had acknowledged a First Amendment right to record the police. The judge essentially held that people who don’t announce that they oppose what police officers are doing don’t have the right to observe and photograph those officers. (Here’s the opinion, and here’s our post on it.) In July of 2017, though, a panel from the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals reversed that…

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New York Enacts New Boating-While-Intoxicated Legislation

New York Enacts New Boating-While-Intoxicated Legislation

By John McCurley On August 16, 2016, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed Tiffany Heitkamp’s Law. The new legislation—which takes effect November 1, 2016—increases the boating-while-intoxicated (BWI) penalties for most offenders with prior drunk-driving convictions. In New York, anyone with a prior offense who’s convicted of either BWI or DWI is subject to greater penalties. But whether the prior offense was a BWI or a DWI can make a big difference. Under current New York law, a BWI conviction is punished…

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California Passes Law Legitimizing Motorcycle Lane Splitting

California Passes Law Legitimizing Motorcycle Lane Splitting

By John McCurley   Most California drivers have had the experience of sitting in freeway traffic when a motorcycle flies past, squeezing between grid-locked cars—a practice called “lane splitting.” Opinions differ on whether lane splitting should be allowed. Some motorists—mostly those who drive cars—believe that lane splitting is too dangerous and should be banned. Motorcyclists, on the other hand, generally think that lane splitting can be done safely and ought to be legal. But what’s the law in California? Until…

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Another Court Says the Fourth Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Credit Card Swipes

Another Court Says the Fourth Amendment Doesn’t Apply to Credit Card Swipes

The U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals is among the latest courts to consider whether the police need a legal justification in order to swipe someone’s credit card. In a June decision, it took the popular view that examining a card in this way isn’t a Fourth Amendment “search.” According to this position, there’s no real difference between looking at the information on the front of a card and using a device to examine the magnetic strip on the back…

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