Few offenses in America’s criminal justice process call for greater attorney expertise than cases involving driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. DUI cases are especially complex because they require defense counsel to understand scientific, as well as legal processes. The legal issues are wide-ranging, involving search and seizure, due process, illegal interrogation, denial of counsel, and evidentiary issues. These legal issues intersect in a DUI case with scientific areas of expertise, such as anatomy, biology, chemistry, physiology, and toxicology, as well as pseudo-scientific areas such as field sobriety testing. DUI defense counsel must also have a working understanding of the operation of breath test equipment, hospital testing equipment, and instruments utilized by forensic laboratories in the process of testing for intoxicants.
It is the mission of the National College for DUI Defense® to provide the finest advanced-level training available to the DUI Defense Law practitioner. The College offers, or co-sponsors, a minimum of four legal and scientific seminars each year. The Summer Session, conducted at the Harvard Law School in July, is the signature program to develop skills for trial, including methods for attacking field sobriety tests, breath and blood tests, for making opening statements and closing arguments, for learning techniques in cross-examining police officers and prosecution experts, and for developing and using defense expert witnesses. The Summer Session is limited in size, to preserve the lowest student/faculty ratio. Approximately one hundred and forty lawyers from around the country are accepted each year for the program conducted at Harvard.
The College also conducts a Winter Session in January of each year at varying locations, and co-sponsors, with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, a seminar each October in Las Vegas. The October seminar is believed to be the largest criminal defense seminar of its type, regularly attended by more than five hundred lawyers from all over the country. The College also co-sponsors “Mastering Scientific Evidence” an intensive advanced three day seminar dedicated to perfecting the latest trial skills and applying them to current issues in forensic toxicology and other DUI related scientific disciplines. If there is a need for possible financial assistance please contact our Executive Director.
In sum, the mission of the college is to vindicate the promise of the United States Constitution, that a citizen accused has the right to the effective assistance of his or her counsel.