Bell Island, an excellent criminal defense lawyer from Scottsbluff, NE, described learning a lot about defending DUI cases after joining the NCDD (I know, there are a lot of similar acronyms!) which stands for the National College of DUI Defense. I first heard of the college after attending a seminar that Troy McKinney conducted a few years ago. Since then, I've intended to join but haven't yet. Bell, as well as five or six other Nebraska attorneys, joined the College after hearing Troy's presentation, which was fortunate as just a few years ago there were no members from Nebraska.
Bell told me how much he learned from the college, but it was a story he told that brought this home. He described being in trial, cross examining the State's expert on the Datamaster breath testing device. During the cross, the expert, in front of the jury, blurted out a statement criminal defense lawyers aim for but rarely hear. He said:
"I don't know. You know that machine better than I do."
Guess who the jury listened to? They listened to the expert, who told them to listen to Bell, who later heard two other words: "Not Guilty."
Troy McKinney's presentation a few years ago made me want to join the NCDD, but Bell's story made me finally write out the check. Hopefully I'll know that machine better than their experts in the future.
When you look for a DUI lawyer, ask yourself if they know the machine this well. If they do, you're in good hands.