Author Archives: Merritt

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Phone: (207) 221-6363

Accidentally Breaking the Law and Strict Liability

When is it OK to make someone a criminal if the criminal act was an accident?  So called “strict liability crimes” (where the State doesn’t have to prove you meant to commit the crime) are everywhere from driving offenses to statutory rape.  When we punish people, is it OK to lock them up for their mistakes instead instead of true malicious acts?
Vice: “If You Accidentally Break the Law, Are You a Criminal?”

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Phone: (207) 221-6363

Driving Stoned: Can the Cops Tell If You Are High?

Marijuana and Alcohol are very different drugs, yet when it comes to an OUI charge, some want to treat them the same.  Testing for the presence of THC in the blood stream as a way to help build the State’s case against a person accused of driving impaired is problematic.  Even if we assume it is possible to determine impairment of some kind at some time based upon the level of THC in the blood, how can we possibly determine marijuana induced impairment at the time of driving?
Bangor Daily News: “Group splits on how Maine would define pot users’ OUI” (12/15/2015)