Upcoming Webinar - Reserve Your Place ASAP!

On April 16, 2014 at 2:00pm EST, Joan Cochet, NCSC Library Manager and NHTSA project staff member will be hosting a live, one-hour webinar on how to access NCSC traffic resources through the NCSC website, the Library's online catalog, and the digital eCollection. The NCSC Library is the world's leading collection of resources related to the field of judicial administration. This collection contains over 50,000 titles in various formats: print, electronic, video, CD_ROM, DVD, and microfiche. Many of these judicial administration titles cover a wide range of traffic issues such as: impaired driving, procedural fairness, DUI courts, traffic courts, photo speed enforcement, license suspensions, non-criminal traffic violations, traffic bench warrants, sentencing, recidivism, alcohol interlock programs, reengineering, DUI case processing, juvenile DUIs, collection of traffic fines, and rehabilitative programs. Join us on the 16th of April for a discussion regarding these traffic resources and discover what services we have available through the NCSC Library for our state court partners and constituents. To reserve a place for the webinar, send an email to Jarret Hann at jhann@ncsc.org.

Iowa DOT Can't Suspend Some Drugged Drivers

The Iowa Supreme Court ruled on March 14, 2014 that Iowa driver’s have a defense to license revocation cases based on drugged driving, provided they have a prescription for the substance at issue and the medication was taken in accordance with the advice of a physician. The court reversed a 180-day license suspension for Teresa Bearinger, who drove off the road into a brick mailbox after becoming distracted in 2011. Ms. Bearinger admitted to taking neurological prescription medications, which were taken as prescribed. Her physician testified that she did not advise Ms. Bearinger against operating motor vehicles while using the medications. In a 7-0 ruling Friday, the court disagreed with DOT's interpretation of current law. The court ruled that the statutory defense of having prescribed drugs in one’s system is applicable to both criminal cases and license revocation cases. The DOT's interpretation did not allow the statutory defense to be used in license revocation proceedings. The defense is not available to drivers who have drank alcohol along with taking medicine, abused prescriptions or drove against their doctors' recommendations.

California Mulls How to Regulate Driverless Cars

Once the stuff of science fiction, driverless cars could be commercially available by decade's end. Under a California law passed in 2012, the DMV must decide by the end of this year how to integrate the cars — often called autonomous vehicles — onto public roads. Three other states have passed driverless car laws, but those rules mostly focus on testing. California has mandated rules on testing and public operation, and the DMV expects within weeks to finalize regulations dictating what companies must do to test the technology on public roads.

State Supreme Court Upholds Warrantless Arrest Despite Defendant Passing Roadside Sobriety Checks

In the State v. Bell (2014), the Tennessee Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Criminal Appeals and the trial court which said there was insufficient evidence to determine probable cause based upon the officers testimony concerning the roadside sobriety tests. Supreme Court deemed that the totality of evidence gave the officer probable cause to arrest without a warrant for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of an intoxicant.

"Crash" Course for Teen Drivers

One Distraction, One Too Many. That's is the motto of a driving awareness program known as Teen DRIVE, which teaches high school students the risks associated with distracted driving through a "first-person" experience in a driving simulator. The program travels to high schools and other venues around the state of Massachusetts.

Drugged Driving Essentials Course

The National Judicial College is offering a “Drugged Driving Essentials” course on May 14-16, 2014 in Reno, Nevada. Given that drugged driving has no bright-line test for impairment, cases require a judge to utilize a variety of tools to effectively adjudicate. After this course, participants will be able to describe the major classes of drugs and how they affect driving; discuss the role of a drug recognition expert (DRE) and qualify him or her as an expert; identify effective and efficient sentencing options; and prepare legally sufficient orders for continued court supervision. Scholarships are available to traffic judges.

Upcoming Events

  • April 16, 2014 at 2:00pm EST: Traffic Resources Webinar. Please email Jarret Hann at jhann@ncsc.org to register.
  • April 27-29, 2014: Lifesavers Conference, Nashville, TN
  • May 14-16, 2014: Drugged Driving Essentials For The Judiciary, The National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada. Scholarships are available for interested applicants. Please email Irene Hart at ihart@judges.org for more information.
  • October 6-9, 2014: Traffic Issues in the 21st Century, The National Judicial College, Reno, Nevada. Scholarships are available for interested applicants. Please email Irene Hart at ihart@judges.org for more information.
  • Ongoing: The National Judicial College is available year round to present traffic related courses for your jurisdiction at no cost. If interested, please contact Irene Hart at ihart@judges.org.
  • ICM course calendar

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