First Issue Brief of 2015!: DUI's and the Assimilative Crimes Act

In a recent article the Traffic Resource Center looks at the Assimilative Crimes Act (ACA). The statute allows the federal government to prosecute offenders under the law of the surrounding state or territory if there is no applicable federal law. As there is no federal DUI law*, the ACA is often used to prosecute motorists who drive while intoxicated on federal lands. The article examines the broad range of lands in the United States to which the ACA applies, as well as the limits on the reach of the governments use of the ACA.

*see 36 CFR 4.23, which prohibits impaired driving in National Parks Service lands

Webinar! Women and Impaired Driving

DWI's have historically been a male-dominated problem. However, the number of women arrested for DWI has increased by almost 30% since the late 1990s. The research about this subset of the impaired driver population is largely outdated and limited, and little is known about the effectiveness of interventions and countermeasures. In an effort to fill this gap in the state of knowledge, the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility funded research conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation, and the American Probation and Parole Association to identify the magnitude and characteristics of the problem, and to identify best practices and recommendations to improve the processing, supervision, and treatment of female impaired drivers. This National Judicial College webcast will delve into the research behind why alcohol-related issues affect women differently than men. In addition, participants will learn about the findings of the aforementioned studies including the unique characteristics of female drunk drivers, offender typologies, and the pathways to offending. Lastly, recommendations to improve the supervision and treatment of female DWI offenders will be offered.

Webinar! "Use of Biomarkers (EtG/EtS): Alcohol Testing in DWI Courts"

On Thursday, January 29, 2015 at 2:00p.m. EST, the National Center for DWI Courts is pleased to announce they are hosting a FREE webinar titled, The Use of EtG and EtS: Alcohol Testing in DWI Court. Join the leading expert in this field, Paul Cary, as he shares a wealth of information and strategies for building and maintaining a successful alcohol-testing program, focusing on using EtG/EtS biomarkers. The webinar will examine what procedures are needed to use EtG/EtS testing effectively; providing the attendee with an understanding of the basic principles of EtG/EtS biomarkers, the benefits and limitations of EtG/EtS testing, and the ability to successfully incorporate EtG/EtS testing into a DWI Court program. Paul L. Cary, M.S., is Director of the Toxicology and Drug Monitoring Laboratory at University of Missouri Health Care in Columbia, Missouri. For over thirty years, Mr. Cary has been actively involved in the management of a nationally-recognized toxicology laboratory (SAMHSA certified) that performs drug testing for drug courts, hospitals, mental health facilities, attorneys, coroners and medical examiners, athletic programs, and public and private employers. He has authored numerous scientific publications and monographs, has served on a variety of clinical and technical advisory committees, teaches at the university, is involved in drug testing research, and serves as a consultant in toxicology-related matters. Mr. Cary has also provided judicial education including lecturing at the National Judicial College on alcohol pharmacology, the use of expert testimony and on drug testing issues. He has been certified as an expert and provided expert testimony in court (local, state and federal) and in labor arbitration. Mr. Cary has been a resource to drug court teams throughout the nation and overseas and serves as visiting faculty for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, the Center for Court Innovation, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges and the National Drug Court Institute.

Upcoming Course: Mar. 23-26 in Reno, NV. "Behind the Wheel: Today's Traffic Offender"

The arena of traffic-related offenses is constantly evolving. Driving while under the influence of drugs as well as alcohol will be an issue that will appear with more frequency in traffic courts around the country. This course will offer insight into case issues and effective strategies from the prospective of the prosecutor, the defense attorney, the treatment provider, and the judge. The course will also offer several sessions regarding the state court tie-in to administrative law issues such as license revocation and driving with a suspended license, and will also provide solutions to modern day traffic court issues such as distracted driving and commercial motor vehicle issues. In addition, during the course we will visit a drug court session at the District Court in Reno in order to become familiar with the drug court model. Finally, the course will provide an in-depth analysis on evidence-based sentencing options which judges can effectively use when managing traffic offenders. Potential attendees are advised that there are a limited number of scholarships available for tuition and up to $750 in travel costs based on approval.

Call for Article Submissions!!!

Trends in State Courts is an annual, peer-reviewed publication that highlights innovative practices in critical areas that are of interest to courts, and often serves as a guide for developing new initiatives and programs, and informing and supporting policy decisions. Trends is the only publication of its kind and enjoys a wide circulation among the state court community. It is distributed in hard copy and electronically. Submission for the monthly online version of Trends are welcomed. Please email abstracts of no more than 500 words to Deborah Smith at for consideration. Visit the Trends in State Courts website at 

NCSC Traffic Resource Center

The Traffic Resource Center is a cooperative effort between the Department of Transportation and the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to establish a resource for judges, court administrators, court clerks, and other court staff on issues related to traffic adjudication. It is an integrated clearinghouse of information as well as a training and technical assistance resource to improve court decision-making and processing of traffic cases involving impaired driving, drugged driving, distracted driving, and commercial driving. The purpose of the Traffic Resource Center website is to provide a useful, ready reference for judges new to the bench or recently assigned to traffic cases, who may need quick access to accurate and timely information until they can receive more formal, structured education.

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